The paper deals with long-term analysis of ocean storms off Norway. Sixty years of wave model time series are considered for the analysis. The input data provide spectral characteristics of both wind and swell seas. The availability of global and partitioned significant wave heights enables the possibility of investigating how swell seas influence the storm shape in terms of growing and decay stages and on how this aspect affects the long-term estimates. The analysis is conducted by means of equivalent storm approach which consists of substituting the sequence of actual storms at a given site with a sequence of equivalent storms whose shape is fixed (such as triangular, power or exponential) and then calculating return periods of storm with given characteristics via analytical solutions derived on the basis of storm shape assumed. This is possible due to statistical equivalence between actual and equivalent storms which in turn leads to the equality of wave risk between actual and equivalent storm sequences at a given site. The equivalent storm associated with an actual one is defined by means of two parameters, related to the storm intensity and duration. The equivalent storm intensity is given by the maximum significant wave height in the actual storm history, while the duration is determined via an iterative procedure. In this paper the exponential shape is considered which is referred as equivalent exponential (EES) storm model. Some aspects related with the storm shape and its influence on return values estimate via EES model are investigated. Further, a sensitivity analysis of EES model to the storm threshold is proposed.

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