AbstractThe sea surface is a spatio-temporal phenomenon. The acquisition and analysis of image sequences of the sea surface therefore allows a complete representation of the sea state. In nature ship- or land-based nautical radar is used to acquire image sequences. In simulations, i.e., hydraulic wave tanks, optical sensors are used for this purpose. From the image sequences it is possible to determine a set of hydrographic parameters such as wave spectra, current-vector fields, and bathymetry. Examples of applications are presented to show the potential of the methods to monitor coastal or offshore wave fields in the context of an integrated approach.