Goddard and Caldwell: Oahu, Hawaii surf observation data set for 1968 - 2004 (NODC Accession 0001754)

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Surf reports are typically made several times per day at select locations around Oahu, primarily by Honolulu City and County lifeguards and the Surf News Network, Inc. Wave heights are reported in Hawaii Scale Feet, which systematically underestimates breaker size by as much as one-half. Although exactly when and why this tendency originated is highly disputed, it became the primary means of communicating surf size by the late 1960s. From publicly available surf reports and other notes from reputable surfers, Mr. Larry Goddard logged heights from 1968 through September 1987 and Mr. Patrick Caldwell has done similarly from September 1987 to 2004. The caretakers of the dataset typically cross-check observations among the various reporters for quality control. The daily value in the GC set represents the upper end of the reported height range, which is roughly equivalent to H1/10, for the observing time and location with the highest breakers along a given coast facing a similar direction. For the north shore, most observations are taken at Sunset Point, which is usually one of the areas of highest surf under the dominant northwest swells. For days of extreme surf with heights greater than 15 HSF, visual observations are reported from Waimea Bay, where breakers are closer to shore. For the south shores, Ala Moana is usually the reporting site. Observations from the west and east side of Oahu have also been recorded although these reports are of lower quality. Comparisons of the GC database to 1981-2002 data from NOAA buoy 51001, which is located roughly 400 km west-northwest of Oahu, show the north shore surf observations are temporally consistent with the shoaling-only, buoy-estimated breaker heights and have an uncertainty of 10 to 15% of the surf height.
  • Cite as: Caldwell, P.; US DOC/NOAA/NESDIS > National Oceanographic Data Center (2011). Goddard and Caldwell: Oahu, Hawaii surf observation data set for 1968 - 2004 (NODC Accession 0001754). Version 1.1. National Oceanographic Data Center, NOAA. Dataset. [access date]
gov.noaa.nodc:0001754
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Distributor DOC/NOAA/NESDIS/NCEI > National Centers for Environmental Information, NESDIS, NOAA, U.S. Department of Commerce
301-713-3277
NCEI.Info@noaa.gov
Dataset Point of Contact Information Services
DOC/NOAA/NESDIS/NCEI > National Centers for Environmental Information, NESDIS, NOAA, U.S. Department of Commerce
301-713-3277
NCEI.Info@noaa.gov
Time Period 1968-08-01 to 2004-09-30
Spatial Bounding Box Coordinates
N: 21.69
S: 21.25
E: -157.66
W: -158.22
Spatial Coverage Map
General Documentation
Publication Dates
  • publication: 2011-01-04
Edition 1.1
Data Presentation Form Digital table - digital representation of facts or figures systematically displayed, especially in columns
Dataset Progress Status Complete - production of the data has been completed
Data Update Frequency As needed
Purpose Basic research
Use Limitations
  • accessLevel: Public
  • Distribution liability: NOAA and NCEI make no warranty, expressed or implied, regarding these data, nor does the fact of distribution constitute such a warranty. NOAA and NCEI cannot assume liability for any damages caused by any errors or omissions in these data. If appropriate, NCEI can only certify that data it distributes are an authentic copy of the records that were accepted for inclusion in the NCEI archives.
Theme keywords NODC DATA TYPES THESAURUS NODC OBSERVATION TYPES THESAURUS WMO_CategoryCode
  • oceanography
Global Change Master Directory (GCMD) Science and Services Keywords
  • EARTH SCIENCE > ATMOSPHERE > ATMOSPHERIC WINDS > SURFACE WINDS > WIND DIRECTION
  • EARTH SCIENCE > ATMOSPHERE > ATMOSPHERIC WINDS > SURFACE WINDS > WIND SPEED
  • EARTH SCIENCE > OCEANS > OCEAN WAVES > WAVE HEIGHT
  • EARTH SCIENCE > OCEANS > OCEAN WAVES > WAVE SPEED/DIRECTION
Data Center keywords Global Change Master Directory (GCMD) Data Center Keywords
  • DOC/NOAA/NESDIS/NODC > National Oceanographic Data Center, NESDIS, NOAA, U.S. Department of Commerce
  • DOC/NOAA/NESDIS/NCEI > National Centers for Environmental Information, NESDIS, NOAA, U.S. Department of Commerce
  • DOC/NOAA/NESDIS/NODC > National Oceanographic Data Center, NESDIS, NOAA, U.S. Department of Commerce
NODC COLLECTING INSTITUTION NAMES THESAURUS NODC SUBMITTING INSTITUTION NAMES THESAURUS
Platform keywords NODC PLATFORM NAMES THESAURUS Global Change Master Directory (GCMD) Platform Keywords
  • In Situ Ocean-based Platforms > BUOYS > BUOYS
Instrument keywords NODC INSTRUMENT TYPES THESAURUS Global Change Master Directory (GCMD) Instrument Keywords
  • In Situ/Laboratory Instruments > Photon/Optical Detectors > VISUAL OBSERVATIONS
Place keywords NODC SEA AREA NAMES THESAURUS Global Change Master Directory (GCMD) Location Keywords
  • OCEAN > PACIFIC OCEAN > NORTH PACIFIC OCEAN
Keywords NCEI ACCESSION NUMBER
Use Constraints
  • Cite as: Caldwell, P.; US DOC/NOAA/NESDIS > National Oceanographic Data Center (2011). Goddard and Caldwell: Oahu, Hawaii surf observation data set for 1968 - 2004 (NODC Accession 0001754). Version 1.1. National Oceanographic Data Center, NOAA. Dataset. [access date]
Access Constraints
  • NOAA and NCEI cannot provide any warranty as to the accuracy, reliability, or completeness of furnished data. Users assume responsibility to determine the usability of these data. The user is responsible for the results of any application of this data for other than its intended purpose.
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Lineage information for: dataset
Processing Steps
  • 2011-01-04T15:51:42 - NCEI Accession 0001754 v1.1 was published.
Output Datasets
Lineage information for: repository
Processing Steps
  • 2015-04-22T00:00:00 - NOAA created the National Centers for Environmental Information (NCEI) by merging NOAA's National Climatic Data Center (NCDC), National Geophysical Data Center (NGDC), and National Oceanographic Data Center (NODC), including the National Coastal Data Development Center (NCDDC), per the Consolidated and Further Continuing Appropriations Act, 2015, Public Law 113-235. NCEI launched publicly on April 22, 2015.
Acquisition Information (collection)
Instrument
  • visual estimate
Platform
  • FIXED STATIONS
Last Modified: 2017-06-27T23:45:30
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