EGU General Assembly 2022
© Author(s) 2022. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

Long-term interannual changes in extreme winds and waves in the Black Sea

Joanna Staneva, Marcel Ricker, Adem Akpinar, Arno Behrens, Rianne Giesen, and Karina von Schuckmann
Joanna Staneva et al.
  • HEREON, Institute for Coastal Systems, Geesthacht, Germany (

This study aims to analyse long-term interannual changes in extreme winds and waves in the Black Sea. Severe wave conditions from 1979 to 2020 are detected using the 99th percentile of the significant wave height (SWH), based on the method proposed in (Weisse and Günther, 2007; Staneva et al., 2020a). Long-term spatial wave statistics of the Black Sea are then obtained based on the annual trend of 99th percentile SWH and the number, lifetime, and intensity of extreme events occurring between 1979 and 2020. In addition, the variability of these extreme event characteristics is demonstrated. Besides, wave reanalysis of the Black Sea is used to investigate intraannual variation and long-term wave energy potential change. Hence, wave power and wind statistics are shown for Black Sea CMEMS multiyear products to identify the most suitable areas for wave energy exploitation and offshore wind power potential and to determine the safe and efficient design, installation and operation of marine energy sector assets. The results reveal that the average number of storm events is the highest in the eastern basin. In contrast, the average lifetime reaches a maximum on the southwestern coast. Intensity peaks in the same region as the lifetime but is also high in the basin interior. Spatial mean extreme event analyses show a slight increase in event numbers and intensity, but decreasing trends for the event lifetime and maximum area of storm events. In regions where wave conditions are strong, there have been increases in extremes relative to normal conditions in recent years. This can significantly affect designs. In terms of wave energy, mean wave power peaks in the southwestern area of the Black Sea. The wave power trend follows a pattern similar to that of the SWH with a pronounced east–west difference; its variation is higher, resulting in a coefficient of variation (CoV) of ~2.5.


How to cite: Staneva, J., Ricker, M., Akpinar, A., Behrens, A., Giesen, R., and von Schuckmann, K.: Long-term interannual changes in extreme winds and waves in the Black Sea, EGU General Assembly 2022, Vienna, Austria, 23–27 May 2022, EGU22-6629,, 2022.