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Abstract

In this study, atlases of wave characteristics and wave energy for the Barents Sea have been generated for the years from 1996 to 2015 based on ERA-Interim datasets from the European Centre for Medium-Range Weather Forecasts (ECMWF). The wave power resources in the Barents Sea can be exploited with sea ice extent declining in recent years. The entire Barents Sea has been divided into multi-year sea ice zones, seasonal sea ice zones and open water zones according to the 20-year averaged sea ice concentration. In the entire domain, the spatial distributions of the annual averaged and mean monthly significant wave heights and wave energy flux are presented. For the open water zones, 15 points have been selected at different locations so as to derive and study the wave energy roses and the inter-annual wave power variation. Moreover, the correlations between the wave energy period and the significant wave height are shown in the energy and scatter diagrams. The maximum wave power occurs in the winter in the western parts of the Barents Sea with more than 60kW/m. The wave energy can therefore be exploited in the open water zones.
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