In design of offshore wind turbines, extreme wave conditions are of interest. Usually, the design wave condition is taken as the sea state corresponding to an annual exceedance probability of 2·10−2, i.e. a return period of 50 years. A possible location for a future wind farm, consisting of bottom fixed wind turbines, is the Doggerbank area, see Figure 1. The water depth in this area varies from about 60m in the north to about 20m in the south.

The hindcast database NORA10 provides sea state characteristics from 1957 to present over a domain covering Doggerbank. Regarding the deeper areas just north of Doggerbank, this hindcast model is found to be of good quality. Larger uncertainties are associated with the hindcast results as we approach shallower water further south. The purpose of the present study is to compare sea state evolution over Doggerbank as reflected by NORA10 with the results of commonly used shallow water hindcast model SWAN.

The adequacy of the default parameters of SWAN for reflecting changes in wave conditions over a sloping bottom is investigated by comparison with model test results.

Extreme wave conditions for two locations 102.5km apart in a north–south direction are established using NORA10. This is done using both an all sea states approach and a peak over threshold approach. Assuming the extremes for the northern position to represent good estimates, the wave evolution southwards is analyzed using SWAN. The extreme condition obtained from NORA10 in the northern position is used as input to SWAN and the results from the two hindcast models are compared in the southern position. SWAN seems to suggest a somewhat faster decay over Doggerbank compared to NORA10.

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