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In Scientific reports ; h5-index 158.0

Wave breaking is an important process for energy dissipation in the open ocean and coastal seas. It drives beach morphodynamics, controls air-sea interactions, determines when ship and offshore structure operations can occur safely, and influences on the retrieval of ocean properties from satellites. Still, wave breaking lacks a proper physical understanding mainly due to scarce observational field data. Consequently, new methods and data are required to improve our current understanding of this process. In this paper we present a novel machine learning method to detect active wave breaking, that is, waves that are actively generating visible bubble entrainment in video imagery data. The present method is based on classical machine learning and deep learning techniques and is made freely available to the community alongside this publication. The results indicate that our best performing model had a balanced classification accuracy score of [Formula: see text] 90% when classifying active wave breaking in the test dataset. An example of a direct application of the method includes a statistical description of geometrical and kinematic properties of breaking waves. We expect that the present method and the associated dataset will be crucial for future research related to wave breaking in several areas of research, which include but are not limited to: improving operational forecast models, developing risk assessment and coastal management tools, and refining the retrieval of remotely sensed ocean properties.

Eadi Stringari Caio, Veras Guimarães Pedro, Filipot Jean-François, Leckler Fabien, Duarte Rui