Coastal Observatory, Liverpool Bay, Irish Sea Proudman Oceanographic Laboratory website

» Check status of the radar systems


Coastal tide gauges

Ferry measurements

Fixed locations

Glider operations

Met stations





WERA HF Radar location

X Band Marine Radar location
Marine Radar

Results from the Marine Radar
X Band Marine Radar image
Hilbre Island Radar has been temporarily switched off (Jan2012)
View latest and
archived images from Island of Eday, Orkney »

Specialised Radar

WERA Formby receive antenna array
WERA Formby receive antenna array

A 12-16MHz WERA HF radar system was deployed to observe sea surface currents and waves in Liverpool Bay.

The system operated at two sites, one near Colwyn Bay and the other near Formby Point, giving maximum coverage for resolving currents and wave conditions. The maximum range of the radar was around 100km with a resolution of 2km for sea surface currents and 5km for 2-D wave spectra.

Results from the radar will be compared with POL's pre-operational models of the Irish Sea and Liverpool Bay.

The radar was first deployed in March 2004 and as the system developed, real-time data was available on this website. The radar system was switched off 5th and 6th December 2011 at Formby/Llanddulas respectively, signalling the end of this set of measurements. Some plots are still available to view on this website, and also raw data. Quality controlled data will become available later.

Find out more and view the latest results »


Marine Radar

Radar in situ
Radar in situ
A standard marine radar (Kelvin Hughes Nucleus3 5000 series, with a 2.4m antenna) has been installed on a tower at Hilbre Island (Wirral).

It uses the shortest range and lowest power settings and is capable of imaging sea clutter (waves) to a distance of 5km and hard targets (e.g., ships) to a distance of 20km. This will give coverage across the lower Dee Estuary and into Liverpool Bay.

A WAMOS-II recording system will be installed to record the radar images with a resolution of 5m-10m. The WAMOS software will generate average 2D-wave spectra and surface currents, while POL software will provide water depth maps at regular intervals based upon the wave behaviour.

Water depth maps will show up bathymetric changes (i.e. sand movements, sand-bank movements) over short and long time scales. Additionally, a web camera records pictures of sea conditions and beach/sand-bank structures to supplement the radar data.

Sand banks around Hilbre  Island at low water
Sand banks around Hilbre Island at low water
The radar will begin its testing phase in May 2003. Once in operation real-/near real-time images will be available on this website showing the wave and current movements.

Hilbre Island Radar has been temporarily switched off (Jan2012)

However, another Radar is currently being operated at the following site:

Falls of Warness (Island of Eday, Orkney)
View latest and archived images »



last updated on 10th December 12   » View all status messages

XBand Radar
22nd July 2009
Off-line while a battery/wind turbine switch is undergoing repair.

HF Radar
2nd June 2009
Both HF radar sites working fully.

Back to top of page