Log in  \/  Register

Login to your HotSwell account


or
 Use Facebook account

Search Surf Breaks

What's Hot

Here you can find out the latest surf news, enjoy a variety of articles and surf stories and check out some of our weather and forecasting features. This is also the place to find out about how the launch and development of Hotswell.com is progressing. If you'd like to contribute to or comment on these pages, drop us a line or click here.

  • Home
    Home This is where you can find all the blog posts throughout the site.
  • Bloggers
    Bloggers Search for your favorite blogger from this site.
  • Login
    Login Login form

German scientists come closer to understanding rogue waves

  • Font size: Larger Smaller
  • Subscribe to this entry

 

Rogue waves are vast surface-waves that occur spontaneously, often in open ocean. They are over twice the size of the significant wave height for a given sea state and are immensely unpredictable, causing chaos for large ships and ocean liners. They've puzzled scientists for decades and have only become definitively proven within the last few years.

 

 

Scientists in Germany have come up with a method that could change the future of big wave surfing.

Due to the unpredictability of the waves and the lack of wave buoys and wave reading equipment in areas where they are more likely to occur, they have always been passed off as a phenomenon. But now, scientists in Germany who've been intensely studying these hidden giants have come up with a way to track them. A method that could change the future of big wave surfing.

Gunter Steinmever and colleagues at the Max Born Institue in Berlin, Germany, examined a timeline of wave heights measured at the Draupner oil platform 100 miles off the coast of Norway in the North Sea (the first recorded rogue wave hit the platform in 1995, measuring at 84 feet against the average wave height of 39 feet). The reasoning behind the study was to find out just how random rogue waves actually are.

 

b2ap3_thumbnail_Figure-1-2.png

 

After compiling the collected the data, it was sliced into segments of varying length, observing for those with nearly identical features. Subsequently they randomly shuffled the data and again looked for such repeated events. The team found more repeated events in the original data than in the shuffled versions, signifying that the rogue wave had identifiable precursors, instead of surfacing entirely at random.

"You can be sure that there is some determinism in the data" explains Steinmeyer. The patterns observed show that minutes before the waves hit are a series of repeating patterns.

 

 

Such waves might be predicted 10 to 20 seconds before impact.

Steinmeyer conveys this means rogue ocean waves are deterministic and have a reasonably minute amount of predictability. Due to rogue waves emerging from turbulence they are challenging to predict, but are not random at the core, he explains. At best, such waves might be predicted 10 to 20 seconds before impact.

So as the research develops and improves, the future of big wave surfing could be very different. We can imagine computerised information being collected at Mavericks and Nazaré for example, to inform surfers of bigger sets on the horizon. Perhaps meaning competitors can avoid taking those giants on the head. This data could be the precursor of big wave forecasting, allowing bigger waves than ever before to be surfed.

 

Josh Sainsbury

 

Image sources: http://rjd.miami.edu, https://disastermanblog.files.wordpress.com

Last modified on
in Surf News Feeds
0

Comments

  • Surfing Valentine's Cards ~ Now you can actually buy them!

      Surfers are sweet. Sometimes salty, but mostly sweet. And to prove it here are some surfing-themed Valentine's cards. You can buy them from our Zazzle shop. Or if you're skint, just copy and paste one of the images below onto your Valentine's Facebook page. If that doesn't do the trick, they clearly have no feelings. Click on any image to view it in the shop.   ...

    by Alfie Hayward
    Monday, 01 February 2016
  • Six Species of Surfer

      Admit it. We're a weird bunch. Here are six of the creatures you'll find yourself mingling with in the line up.   (Illustrations by Andi Pratt. Check out more of his crazy work here and on Instagram.)     And all together:       So which one are you? Or are you a different beast entirely? Let us know in the comments below.   ...

    by Alfie Hayward
    Monday, 11 January 2016
View more blog entries
12

Top 5 All Surf Spots

Quiver Surfboards
Quiver Surfboards

Atlantic Charts blog

Wed 18 October, 12:00 am
Atlantic Swell Height
Atlantic Pressure
Atlantic Wind Speed

Quick Links

Atlantic Charts
Top 10 Charts

Help/Support

Terms of Site Usage
Surf break pages
Surf break compare
footerlogoWhiteRed

© Hotswell.com
® Hotswell

All Rights Reserved