A variety of current profile data sources are compared for a deepwater site offshore Brazil. These data were gathered for consideration as part of the Worldwide Approximations of Current Profiles (WACUP) Joint Industry Project, described separately in OMAE2012-83348. The primary source of data for current profile characterisation is site specific full water column measurement. Sufficiently high vertical and temporal resolutions are required to capture the dominant oceanographic processes. Such in-situ data are generally expensive and time consuming to collect, so there is an increasing tendency for numerical model current data to be considered for engineering applications. In addition to being relatively inexpensive and quick to obtain, model data are also typically of much longer duration. This potentially allows inter-annual variability and rare extreme events to be captured. However, the accuracy and reliability of numerical model data remains questionable, or unproven, in many deepwater development regions. This paper explores the suitability of such models to represent a deepwater site offshore Brazil, in relation to the key oceanographic processes revealed within the in-situ data.

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