Screen capture from the Wave Exposure Model tool

Wave Exposure Model

Analysts use this downloadable software with ArcGIS to quantify wave energy and its effects on ecosystem functions.

Understanding the hydrodynamics of the coast, especially the waves associated with storms, is essential to managing the fragile coastal environment. The Wave Exposure Model (WEMo) is a free and easy-to-use tool that helps coastal managers, ecologists, and physical hydrologists alike by estimating wave energy and its effects on ecosystem functions, as well as on developed coastal and inland-water areas.


  • Forecasts and "hindcasts" wind wave energy and the movement of seafloor sediment in enclosed water bodies such as lakes, coastal bays, and estuaries
  • Provides a foundation for studying or modeling restoration efforts, seafloor and shoreline erosion, and the tolerance limits of habitats
  • Works well with standard data formats and factors such as shoreline erosion, fauna, and landscape patterns
  • Guides the classification of wave data into wave energy patterns useful for choosing sampling regimes
  • Adjusts to wind events that are chronic, extreme, or combined with storm surge
  • Adapts for use by non-specialists in hydrodynamics
  • Requires basic knowledge of geographic information systems
Last modified
21 June 2021 - 5:25pm