Wave characteristics along the Vietnam coasts facing the South China Sea in which well-organized wave observations have not been developed, were made clear in this study using the ocean wave reanalysis data provided by WW3_NOAA that is global analysis program by the third generation ocean wave model, WW3. Hourly changes in the significant wave height, wave period and wave direction in the offshore waves in the northern, north-central, south-central central, and southern coasts have been analyzed since February, 2005 up to December 2014.
Then, in order to analyze the wave characteristics in the coastal zone, wave deformation computation by shallow water wave model SWAN was carried in 2006 at the north-central Vietnam coast, Hue. As wave boundary conditions in this case, significant wave height, the peak period and peak wave direction of WW3_NOAA were imposed by using the SEGMENT boundary method. In October, 2006, the shallow wave observation data at Hue coast was available to compare the output of SWAN wave analysis as a brief validation of the model. As well as this model validation, the database of shallow water wave fields and the shear stress distribution of breaking waves in the surf zone have been established, as a coastal wave dataset in Hue coastal zone in 2006 which provides the hourly nearshore wave parameters together with white cap dissipation rate and depth-induced breaking shear stresses extending 100 W/m2 in the surf zone.