The goals of the present work are to compare TOPEX/Poseidon (T/P) significant wave height (HS) with buoy data off the West Coast of Portugal and to evaluate the performance of wave period algorithms. Altimeter and buoy data are compared according to co-location criteria proposed in literature. A new method for analysing the variation of quality parameters in the space and time domains is presented. The use of wave group velocity as a way of relating space and time lags is also proposed. Local calibrations for T/P HS are computed, with the interval of degradation of TOPEX altimeter considered separately. It is found that an algorithm for mean wave zero-crossing period (ZT) can be used in the region under consideration, the root mean square error (Erms) being lower than 0.7 s if local coefficients are used.

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