This is a preliminary study of the feasibility of obtaining reliable tidal current harmonic constants, using one month of current observations, to verify the accuracy of a tidal model. An inference method is commonly used to separate out the tidal harmonic constituents when the available data spans less than a synodic period. In contrast to tidal constituents, studies of the separation of tidal-current harmonics are rare, basically due to a dearth of the long-term observation data needed for such experiments. We conducted concurrent and monthly harmonic analyses for tidal current velocities and heights, using 2 years (2006 and 2007) of current and sea-level records obtained from the Tidal Current Signal Station located in the narrow waterway in front of Incheon Lock, Korea. Firstly, the l-year harmonic analyses showed that, with the exception of
semidiurnal constituents, the major constituents were different for the tidal currents and heights.
, for instance, was found to be the 4th major tidal constituent but not an important tidal current constituent. Secondly, we examined monthly variation in the amplitudes and phase-lags of the
current-velocity and tide constituents over a 23-month period. The resultant patterns of variation in the amplitudes and phase-lags of the
tidal currents and tides were similar, exhibiting a sine curve form with a 6-month period. Similarly, variation in the
tidal constant and tidal current-velocity phase lags showed a sine curve pattern with a 6-month period. However, that of the
tidal current-velocity amplitude showed a somewhat irregular sine curve pattern. Lastly, we investigated and tested the inference methods available for separating the
current-velocity constituents via monthly harmonic analysis. We compared the effects of reduction in monthly variability in tidal harmonic constants of the
current-velocity constituent using three different inference methods and that of Schureman (1976). Specifically, to separate out the two constituents (
), we used three different inference parameter (i.e. amplitude ratio and phase-lag diggerence) values derived from the 1-year harmonic analyses of current-velocities and tidal heights at (near) the short-term observation station and from tidal potential (TP), together with Schureman's (1976) inference (SI). Results from these four different methods reveal that TP and SI are satisfactorily applicable where results of long-term harmonic analysis are not available. We also discussed how to further reduce the monthly variability in
tidal current-velocity constants.