214Salient results derived from surface current observations by the OSCR HF radar system are described with an emphasis on their relevance to numerical modeling of tides and surges. Early experiments designed to evaluate the accuracy of the system are described including comparisons of the radar results: (1) with moored current meter observations, (2) with fine-grid numerical model values, and (3) for self-consistency. Subsequent scientific and engineering applications are then described concerning tidal, wind-driven, and time-averaged residual currents.

These HF radar data provide new insights into both the fine-scale horizontal structure and the near-surface vertical structure of coastal currents. The data are especially valuable in both verifying and developing numerical models. Interesting observed flow features appropriate for simulating in three-dimensional models include (1) the generation of tidal vorticity near headlands, (2) the response to wind forcing, and (3) the generation of (strong) time-averaged residual currents associated with horizontal density gradients.