This study aims to provide a statistical description of wave conditions on the French Atlantic coast. The large scale spatial variability of sea states at the French Atlantic coast is assessed using wave rider time series at Biscarosse (in 26m depth) and l'ile d'Yeu (in 33m depth), about 300 km apart. The major differences between the two locations obtained from 3D histograms of significant wave heights, periods and directions indicate that (i) higher wave heights are encountered at l'Ile d'Yeu and (ii) larger range of wave directions and age at Biscarosse, mainly due to atmospheric forcing. The temporal variability at the two wave rider locations is shown by seasonal statistics, with two main seasons: October to March and April to September. Three types of data classifications are compared; 12 classes allow the main encountered situations to be described.
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Vol. 36 • No. sp1