Ship wake transformation in the coastal zone is analysed based on field measurements of wave conditions at two measurement sites located about 20 m and 100 m from the shore. Analysis of single wake events recorded at both sites is carried out by transforming the time series of the wave amplitude into the time–frequency domain, using both a short-time Fourier transform and a wavelet transform. Analysis reveals that signature features of individual wake components can be tracked as the wake approaches the shore, but the wave amplitude and associated wave energy is transformed differently for different wake components. The wake energy is reduced as the waves propagate through the surf zone, which can be attributed mainly to wave breaking of the leading wave system and a significant reduction of the divergent wave system. However, the energy of transverse waves is stable or increasing, indicating that these waves undergo a non-breaking shoaling process.
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