Scientists are those typically most interested in coastal wave measurement, when investigating coastal processes, such as sediment transport and activities outside/inside harbors, or even biological processes.
Wave data is an important input for their research, as it is one of the most important parameters influencing such processes. This data can help uncover clear correlations between cause and effect, and secure precision in scientific research.
Study of the nutritional uptake and growth rate of mussels on the coast provides a good example of a biological process influenced by the wave regime. Mussels depend for their well-being on exposure to a continuous flow of nutrient-rich sea water, and wave activity is crucial to this flow.
Marine construction engineers need to know about the forces that will affect the structures they are designing and building, such as breakwaters, offshore wind turbines, docks and piers. Such structures are affected by wind and currents, but waves will usually exert the greatest force.
The ability to document the biggest wave forces likely to affect a structure is key for engineers. This helps determine its dimensions and the choice of construction materials. Determining the average or characteristic wave field is also important, as this repetitive force influences structural fatigue.
The desired end result for marine construction engineers is usually to design a safe, durable structure that is as compact and lean as possible.