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 WERA Coastal Radar Project 

Photo of South Carolina / Georgia WERA Surface Currents

Click on figure for an animation on the SECOORA observatory website.

Skidaway Institute, in cooperation with the University of South Carolina, has installed shore-based HF-radars along the Georgia, South Carolina and North Carolina coastline to measure surface currents and waves across the continental shelf. Georgia radars on St. Catherine's Island (since 2006) and Jekyll Island (since 2010) are long-range WERA installations manufactured by Helzel MessTechnik of Germany, operating at a frequency of 8.3 MHz, with daytime ranges of 220 km, reaching across the broad shelf and over the shoreward flank of the Gulf Stream. Horizontal resolution is 3 km along radials, with 2 azimuthal resolution (equivalent to 3.5 km at 100 km).

Where coverage from two installations overlap and their respective radials are sufficiently non-parallel, vector velocities can be constructed at half-hourly intervals (with 3 km grid spacing) from the radial velocities. A wealth of detail is apparent in the surface current snapshot and zoomed image shown here.


The array of receiving antennae deployed on the coast of St Catherine's Island.

Skidaway Institute radars were acquired through funding from the Georgia Research Alliance, and are operated for research and observatory purposes with combined funding from the National Science Foundation (NSF) and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). We are grateful to the St. Catherine's Island Foundation and Villas by the Sea on Jekyll Island for their generous cooperation.

Contact Dr. Dana K. Savidge (email) with questions or comments.

More information:

    Manufacturers of HF-radar systems
  • Helzel


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