Are Rogue Waves Real

Carole Stephens
• Sunday, 15 November, 2020
• 36 min read

Thirty-metre behemoths that rise up from nowhere to throw ships about like corks, only to slip back beneath the depths moments later. Evocative descriptions of abnormally large rogue waves that appear out of the blue have been shared among sailors for centuries.

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With little or no hard evidence, and the size of the waves often growing with each telling, there is little surprise that scientists long dismissed them as tall tales. Until the 1990s, scientists' ideas about how waves form at sea were heavily influenced by the work of British mathematician and oceanographer Michael Selwyn Longuet-Higgins.

The key player was mathematician and physicist Thomas Brooke Benjamin, who studied the dynamics of waves in a long tank of shallow water at the University of Cambridge. With his student Jim Far, Benjamin noticed that while waves might start out with constant frequencies and wavelengths, they would change unexpectedly shortly after being generated.

However, the same thing happened when they repeated the experiments in a larger tank at the UK National Physical Laboratory near London. For many years, most scientists believed that this “Benjamin-Feir instability” only occurred in laboratory-generated waves travelling in the same direction: a rather artificial situation.

Despite having been stowed 66ft (20 m) above the water line and showing no signs of having been purposefully lowered, the lifeboat seemed to have been hit by an extreme force. However, what really turned the field upside down was a wave that crashed into the Draper oil platform off the coast of Norway shortly after 3.20pm on New Year's Day 1995.

Hurricane winds were blowing and 39ft (12 m) waves were hitting the rig, so the workers had been ordered indoors. “Satellite measurements have shown there are many more rogue waves in the oceans than linear theory predicts,” says Amino Chabchoub of Alto University in Finland.

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When physicists want to study how microscopic systems like atoms behave over time, they often use a mathematical tool called the Schrödinger equation. Researchers have shown that the non-linear Schrödinger equation can explain how statistical models of ocean waves can suddenly grow to extreme heights, through this focusing of energy.

In a 2016 study, Chabchoub applied the same models to more realistic, irregular sea-state data, and found rogue waves could still develop. “We are now able to generate realistic rogue waves in the laboratory environment, in conditions which are similar to those in the oceans,” says Chabchoub.

“Having the design criteria of offshore platforms and ships being based on linear theory is no good if a non-linear system can generate rogue waves they can't cope with.” Instead, Stammerer and his colleague Simon Borehole looked at real -world data from different types of rogue waves.

They looked at wave heights just before the 1995 rogue at the Draper oil platform, as well as unusually bright flashes in laser beams shot into fiber optic cables, and laser beams that suddenly intensified as they exited a container of gas. They found oceanic rogue waves were predictable to some degree: the correlations were stronger in the real -life time sequence than in the shuffled ones.

There was also predictability in the anomalies observed in the laser beams in gas, but at a different level, and none in the fiber optic cables. However, the predictability they found will be little comfort to ship captains who find themselves nervously eyeing the horizon as the winds pick up.

rogue waves really
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“In principle, it is possible to predict an ocean rogue wave, but our estimate of the reliable forecast time needed is some tens of seconds, perhaps a minute at most,” says Stammerer. “Given that two waves in a severe North Sea storm could be separated by 10 seconds, to those who say they can build a useful device collecting data from just one point on a ship or oil platform, I'd say it's already been invented.

If the algorithm was combined with data from LIDAR scanning technology, Sepsis says, it could give ships and oil platforms 2-3 minutes of warning before a rogue wave formed. “These modulation instability mechanisms have only been tested in laboratory wave tanks in which you focus the energy in one direction,” says Francesco Female of Georgia Tech in Atlanta.

In a 2016 study, Female and his colleagues argued that more straightforward linear explanations can account for rogue waves after all. They used historic weather forecast data to simulate the spread of energy and ocean surface heights in the run up to the Draper, Andrea and Willard rogue waves, which struck respectively in 1995, 2007 and 2014.

This point was highlighted in a 2016 report from the US National Transportation Safety Board, written by a group overseen by Female, into the sinking of an American cargo ship, the SS El Faro, on 1 October 2015, in which 33 people died. “If you account for the space-time effect properly, then the probability of encountering a rogue wave is larger,” Female says.

“Predicting an individual rogue wave event might be hopeless or non-practical, because it requires too much data and computing power. Stammerer's group found that rogue waves are more likely when low pressure leads to converging winds; when waves heading in different directions cross each other; when the wind changes direction over a wide range; and when certain coastal shapes and subsea topographies push waves together.

waves rogue shutterstock thought common than according research coindesk
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They concluded that rogue waves could only occur when these and other factors combined to produce an effective number of waves of 10 or more. However, he disagrees with Female's view that sharp peaks can have a significant impact on wave height.

For anyone sitting on an isolated oil rig or ship, watching the swell of the waves under a stormy sky, those few minutes of warning could prove crucial. A rogue wave estimated at 18.3 meters (60 feet) in the Gulf Stream off of Charleston, South Carolina.

The wave was moving away from the ship after crashing into it moments before this photo was captured. Rogue, freak, or killer waves have been part of marine folklore for centuries, but have only been accepted as real by scientists over the past few decades.

Extreme waves often form because swells, while traveling across the ocean, do so at different speeds and directions. This process can form unusually large, towering waves that quickly disappear.

If the swells are travelling in the same direction, these mountainous waves may last for several minutes before subsiding. When our lifeboat crews are called out to a vessel in distress or a capsized kayaked, one of the first things they hear from those they rescue is how they ended up in their situation.

rogue waves wave previously thought common than atlantic ocean henlopen rv cape deck photograph taken
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We spoke to two experts from Plymouth University who have dedicated their academic lives to trying to understand the awesome power of the sea. Man overboard: A situation in which a person has fallen from a boat or ship into the water and needs to be rescued.

Swell: Waves that have been generated by a distant weather system rather than local wind. This sudden increase in size can easily catch people off guard.

This is the condition of the sea based on factors such as height, size and frequency of the waves. ‘A sea-state describes the energy within ocean waves for a certain time period in a given area,’ explains Will.

Storm sea-states, which are less developed, will show a spread of energy over a much wider frequency and directional range.’ So a well-developed sea state is one where the waves are relatively the same height and distance apart from each other, travelling in the same direction.

A storm sea-state is more chaotic, with waves varying more widely in height, frequency and the direction in which they travel. The most commonly explored cause is believed to be “wave-wave” interactions, where waves travelling in different directions cross each other.

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This could be the result of a storm sea with scattered wave directions, or from two separate swell events meeting at a particular location.’ ‘ Rogue waves are inherently chaotic in their formation, which makes forecasting them an almost impossible task,’ continues Will.

‘Impressive work has been done in the last 20 years to improve forecasting and prediction of rogue wave events. ‘And so, an alternative approach to forecasting rogue waves uses the idea of waves travelling in groups.

Dr Tim Scott is Lecturer in Ocean Exploration at University of Plymouth, and is part of the Coastal Processes Research Group. ‘ Waves breaking inshore on beaches drive very different variations in water levels in the surf zone and at the shoreline,’ explains Tim.

Many surfers talk about waiting for that perfect ‘set’ of waves, a group with the right size for surfing. These can trigger changes of water level and rip current activity in the surf zone, catching out unsuspecting bathers.

Always wear a life jacket, so if a rogue wave sweeps you or another crew member overboard, you will be kept afloat. It will help you to stay calm in these situations and work more effectively to rescue those who have fallen into the sea.

fitzgerald edmund waves sink did shipwreck storm rogue sank map ss weather lake 1975 sunk november caused 10th theories through
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A merchant ship laboring in heavy seas as a huge wave looms ahead, Bay of Biscay, ca. Rogue waves present considerable danger for several reasons: they are unpredictable, may appear without warning, and can impact with tremendous force.

Rogue waves seem not to have a single distinct cause, but occur where physical factors such as high winds and strong currents cause waves to merge to create a single exceptionally large wave. They appear to be ubiquitous in nature and have also been reported in liquid helium, in quantum mechanics, in nonlinear optics and in microwave cavities, in Bose–Einstein condensation, in heat and diffusion and in finance.

Recent research has focused on optical rogue waves which facilitate the study of the phenomenon in the laboratory. A 2015 paper studied the wave behavior around a rogue wave, including optical, and the Draper wave, and concluded that rogue events do not necessarily appear without a warning, but are often preceded by a short phase of relative order”.

A 2012 study confirmed the existence of oceanic rogue holes, the inverse of rogue waves, where the depth of the hole can reach more than twice the significant wave height. Rogue waves are an open water phenomenon, in which winds, currents, non-linear phenomena such as solutions, and other circumstances cause a wave to briefly form that is far larger than the “average” large occurring wave (the significant wave height or “kWh”) of that time and place.

The basic underlying physics that makes phenomena such as rogue waves possible is that different waves can travel at different speeds, and so they can “pile up” in certain circumstances, known as constructive interference “. However, other situations can also give rise to rogue waves, particularly situations where non-linear effects or instability effects can cause energy to move between waves and be concentrated in one or very few extremely large waves before returning to “normal” conditions.

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Eyewitness accounts from mariners and damage inflicted on ships have long suggested that they occur. The first scientific evidence of their existence came with the recording of a rogue wave by the Form platform in the central North Sea in 1984.

However, what caught the attention of the scientific community was the digital measurement of a rogue wave at the Draper platform in the North Sea on January 1, 1995; called the Draper wave, ” it had a recorded maximum wave height of 25.6 meters (84 ft) and peak elevation of 18.5 meters (61 ft). During that event, minor damage was inflicted on the platform far above sea level, confirming the validity of the reading made by a down-pointing laser sensor.

Their existence has also since been confirmed by video and photographs, satellite imagery, radar of the ocean surface, stereo wave imaging systems, pressure transducers on the sea-floor, and oceanographic research vessels. In February 2000, a British oceanographic research vessel, the RRS Discovery, sailing in the Rockfall Trough west of Scotland encountered the largest waves ever recorded by scientific instruments in the open ocean, with a kWh of 18.5 meters (61 ft) and individual waves up to 29.1 meters (95 ft).

“In 2004 scientists using three weeks of radar images from European Space Agency satellites found ten rogue waves, each 25 meters (82 ft) or higher.” A rogue wave is a natural ocean phenomenon that is not caused by land movement, only lasts briefly, occurs in a limited location, and most often happens far out at sea.

Rogue waves are considered rare but potentially very dangerous, since they can involve the spontaneous formation of massive waves far beyond the usual expectations of ship designers, and can overwhelm the usual capabilities of ocean-going vessels which are not designed for such encounters. Tsunamis are caused by massive displacement of water, often resulting from sudden movement of the ocean floor, after which they propagate at high speed over a wide area.

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They are nearly unnoticeable in deep water and only become dangerous as they approach the shoreline and the ocean floor becomes shallower; therefore, tsunamis do not present a threat to shipping at sea. They are also distinct from mega tsunamis, which are single massive waves caused by sudden impact, such as meteor impact or landslides within enclosed or limited bodies of water.

In 1826, French scientist and naval officer Captain Jules Dumont d'Orville reported waves as high as 108 ft (33 m) in the Indian Ocean with three colleagues as witnesses, yet he was publicly ridiculed by fellow scientist François Aragon. In that era it was widely held that no wave could exceed 30 ft (9 m).

Since the 19th century, oceanographers, meteorologists, engineers and ship designers have used a statistical model known as the Gaussian function (or Gaussian Sea or standard linear model) to predict wave height, on the assumption that wave heights in any given sea are tightly grouped around a central value equal to the average of the largest third, known as the significant wave height. In a storm sea with a significant wave height of 12 meters (39 ft), the model suggests there will hardly ever be a wave higher than 15 meters (49 ft).

The use of a Gaussian form to model waves had been the sole basis of virtually every text on that topic for the past 100 years. The first known scientific article on “Freak waves was written by Professor Laurence Draper in 1964.

In that paper, which has been described as a 'seminal article', he documented the efforts of the National Institute of Oceanography in the early 1960s to record wave height, and the highest wave recorded at that time, which was about 20 m (67 ft). However, even as late as the mid 1990s, most popular texts on oceanography such as that by Pixie did not contain any mention of rogue or freak waves.

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Even after the 1995 Draper wave, the popular text on Oceanography by Gross (1996) only gave rogue waves a mention and simply stated that “Under extraordinary circumstances unusually large waves called rogue waves can form” without providing any further detail. In 1995, strong scientific evidence for the existence of rogue waves came with the recording of what has become known as the Draper wave.

The Draper E is one structure in a gas pipeline support complex operated by Sta toil about 160 kilometers (100 mi) 58°1119.30N2°280.00E / 58.1886944°N 2.4666667°E / 58.1886944; 2.4666667 offshore and west by southwest from the southern tip of Norway. The Draper E platform is the first major oil platform of the jacket-type attached to the seabed with a bucket foundation instead of pilings and a suction anchoring system.

The rig was built to withstand a calculated 1-in-10,000 years wave with a predicted height of 20 m (64 ft) and was also fitted with a state-of-the-art laser wave recorder on the platform's underside. At 3 p.m. on 1 January 1995 it recorded a 26 m (85 ft) rogue wave i.e., 6 m (21 ft) taller than the predicted 10,000-year wave, that hit the rig at 72 km/h (45 mph).

The wave was recorded by all the sensors fitted to the platform, and it caused enormous interest in the scientific community. Following the evidence of the Draper wave, research in the area became widespread.

Some research confirms that observed wave height distribution in general follows well the Rayleigh distribution, but in shallow waters during high energy events, extremely high waves are rarer than this particular model predicts. Sta toil researchers presented a paper in 2000, collating evidence that freak waves were not the rare realizations of a typical or slightly non-gaussian sea surface population (classical extreme waves), but rather they were the typical realizations of a rare and strongly non-gaussian sea surface population of waves (freak extreme waves).

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In 2000 the British oceanographic vessel RRS Discovery recorded a 29-metre (95 ft) wave off the coast of Scotland near Rockfall. This was a scientific research vessel and was fitted with high quality instruments.

The subsequent analysis determined that under severe gale force conditions with wind speeds averaging 21 meters per second (41 kn) a ship-borne wave recorder measured individual waves up to 29.1 meters (95.5 ft) from crest to trough, and a maximum significant wave height of 18.5 meters (60.7 ft). These were some of the largest waves recorded by scientific instruments up to that time.

Put simply, a scientific model (and also ship design method) to describe the waves encountered did not exist. This finding was widely reported in the press, which reported that “according to all the theoretical models at the time under this particular set of weather conditions waves of this size should not have existed”.

In 2004 the ESA Max Wave project identified more than ten individual giant waves above 25 meters (82 ft) in height during a short survey period of three weeks in a limited area of the South Atlantic. The ESA's ERS satellites have helped to establish the widespread existence of these rogue waves.

By 2007, it was further proven via satellite radar studies that waves with crest to trough heights of 20 meters (66 ft) to 30 meters (98 ft), occur far more frequently than previously thought. It is now known that rogue waves occur in all the world's oceans many times each day.

Thus, acknowledgement of the existence of rogue waves (despite the fact that they cannot plausibly be explained by reference to simple statistical models) is a very modern scientific paradigm. Professor Ahmedi of the Australian National University, one of the world's leading researchers in this field, has stated that there are about 10 rogue waves in the world's oceans at any moment.

A phenomenon known as the “Three Sisters” is said to occur in Lake Superior when a series of three large waves forms. The third incoming wave adds to the two accumulated backwashes and suddenly overloads the ship deck with tons of water.

These are considered to be the most important discoveries in the twentieth and twenty-first centuries mathematical and experimental physics. Serious studies of the phenomenon of rogue waves only started after the 1995 Draper wave and have intensified since about 2005.

One of the remarkable features of the rogue waves is that they always appear from nowhere and quickly disappear without a trace. Recent research has suggested that there could also be “super- rogue waves “, which are up to five times the average sea-state.

Rogue waves has now become a near universal term given by scientists to describe isolated large amplitude waves, that occur more frequently than expected for normal, Gaussian distributed, statistical events. Rogue waves appear to be ubiquitous in nature and are not limited to the oceans.

They appear in other contexts and have recently been reported in liquid helium, in nonlinear optics and in microwave cavities. In 2012, researchers at the Australian National University proved the existence of rogue wave holes, an inverted profile of a rogue wave.

They follow from theoretical analysis but had never been proven experimentally. In 2019, researchers succeeded in producing a wave with similar characteristics to the Draper wave (steepness and breaking), and proportionately greater height, using multiple wave trains meeting at an angle of 120 degrees.

But from about 60 degrees and greater, the wave began to break vertically upwards, creating a peak that did not reduce the wave height as usual, but instead increased it (a “vertical jet”). They concluded “that the onset and type of wave breaking play a significant role and differ significantly for crossing and non-crossing waves.

Crucially, breaking becomes less crest-amplitude limiting for sufficiently large crossing angles and involves the formation of near-vertical jets”. (Click image for full resolution) In the first row (0 degrees), the crest breaks horizontally and plunges, limiting the wave size.

In the course of Project Max Wave, researchers from the KSS Research Center, using data collected by ESA satellites, identified many radar signatures that have been portrayed as evidence for rogue waves. Further research is under way to develop better methods of translating the radar echoes into sea surface elevation, but at present this technique is not proven.

The “Lego Pirate” video has been widely used and quoted to describe what they call 'super rogue waves which their research suggests can be up to five times bigger than the other waves around them. European Space Agency continues to do research into rogue waves by radar satellite.

United States Naval Research Laboratory, the science arm of the Navy and Marine Corps published results of their modelling work in 2015. Two researchers at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology partially supported by the Naval Engineering Education Consortium (NEED) have considered the problem of short-term prediction of rare, extreme water waves and have developed and published their research on an effective predictive tool of about 25 wave periods.

This tool can give ships and their crews a two-to-three minute warning of potentially catastrophic impact allowing crew some time to shut down essential operations on a ship (or offshore platform). The authors cite landing on an aircraft carrier as a prime example.

Swinburne University of Technology in Australia recently published work on the probabilities of rogue waves. In 2019, A team from the Universities of Oxford and Edinburgh recreated the Draper wave in a lab.

A research group at the Umeå University in Sweden in August 2006 showed that normal stochastic wind driven waves can suddenly give rise to monster waves. Great Lakes Environmental Research Laboratory.

GIRL did research in 2002 which dispelled the long-held contentions that rogue waves were of rare occurrence. Experimental demonstration of rogue wave generation through nonlinear processes (on a small scale) in a wave tank. The linear part solution of the Nonlinear Schrödinger equation describing the evolution of a complex wave envelope in deep water. Because the phenomenon of rogue waves is still a matter of active research, it is premature to state clearly what the most common causes are or whether they vary from place to place.

The areas of the highest predictable risk appear to be where a strong current runs counter to the primary direction of travel of the waves ; the area near Cape Adults off the southern tip of Africa is one such area; the warm Adults Current runs to the southwest, while the dominant winds are westerlies. However, since this thesis does not explain the existence of all waves that have been detected, several mechanisms are likely, with localized variation.

This happens off the South African coast, where the Adults Current is countered by westerlies. Nonlinear effects (modulation instability) It seems possible to have a rogue wave occur by natural, nonlinear processes from a random background of smaller waves.

In such a case, it is hypothesized, an unusual, unstable wave type may form which 'sucks' energy from other waves, growing to a near-vertical monster itself, before becoming too unstable and collapsing shortly after. A small-scale rogue wave consistent with the nonlinear Schrödinger equation (the Peregrine Solution) was produced in a laboratory water tank in 2011.

Normal part of the wave spectrum Rogue waves are not freaks at all but are part of normal wave generation process, albeit a rare extremity. Constructive interference of elementary waves Rogue waves can result from the constructive interference (dispersive and directional focusing) of elementary 3D waves enhanced by nonlinear effects.

As wind blows over the ocean, energy is transferred to the sea surface. When strong winds from a storm happen to blow in the opposing direction of the ocean current the forces might be strong enough to randomly generate rogue waves.

If a stable wave group exists in cold water and moves into a warm water column the waves will get larger and the wavelength will be shorter. The spatio-temporal focusing seen in the NLS equation can also occur when the nonlinearity is removed.

In this case, focusing is primarily due to different waves coming into phase, rather than any energy transfer processes. Further analysis of rogue waves using a fully nonlinear model by R. H. Gibbs (2005) brings this mode into question, as it is shown that a typical wave group focuses in such a way as to produce a significant wall of water, at the cost of a reduced height.

A rogue wave, and the deep trough commonly seen before and after it, may last only for some minutes before either breaking, or reducing in size again. Such rogue wave groups have been observed in nature.

“Walls of water” travelling up to 10 km (6 mi) through the ocean “Three Sisters”, groups of three waves Single, giant storm waves, building up to fourfold the storm's waves height and collapsing after some seconds The possibility of the artificial stimulation of rogue wave phenomena has attracted research funding from DARPA, an agency of the United States Department of Defense.

Bahrm Alkali and other researchers at UCLA studied microstructure optical fibers near the threshold of solitonsupercontinuum generation and observed rogue wave phenomena. After modelling the effect, the researchers announced that they had successfully characterized the proper initial conditions for generating rogue waves in any medium.

Additional works carried out in optics have pointed out the role played by a nonlinear structure called Peregrine solution that may explain those waves that appear and disappear without leaving a trace. Many of these encounters are only reported in the media, and are not examples of open ocean rogue waves.

A Coast Guard report blamed water entry to the hatches, which gradually filled the hold, or alternatively errors in navigation or charting causing damage from running onto shoals. However, another nearby ship, the SS Arthur M. Anderson, was hit at a similar time by two rogue waves and possibly a third, and this appeared to coincide with the sinking around ten minutes later.

Newspaper reports at the time described the cruise liner as attempting to surf the near-vertical wave in order not to be sunk. Naval Research Laboratory ocean-floor pressure sensors detected a freak wave caused by Hurricane Ivan in the Gulf of Mexico, 2004.

Their computer models also indicated that waves may have exceeded 40 meters (130 ft) in the eyeball. Aleutian Ballad, (Bering Sea, 2005) footage of what is identified as an 18-metre (60 ft) wave appears in an episode of The Deadliest Catch.

The wave strikes the ship at night and cripples the vessel, causing the boat to tip for a short period onto its side. Naval Institute theorize rogue waves may be responsible for the unexplained loss of low-flying aircraft, such as U.S. Coast Guard helicopters during Search and Rescue missions.

MS Louis Majesty (Mediterranean Sea, March 2010) was struck by three successive 8-metre (26 ft) waves while crossing the Gulf of Lion on a Mediterranean cruise between Cartagena and Marseille. Two passengers were killed by flying glass when a lounge window was shattered by the second and third waves.

The waves, which struck without warning, were all abnormally high in respect to the sea swell at the time of the incident. In 2019, Hurricane Dorian's extratropical remnant generated 100 feet (30 m) rogue wave off the coast of Newfoundland.

The loss of the MS Munches in 1978 provided some of the first physical evidence of the existence of rogue waves. Munches was a state-of-the-art cargo ship with multiple water-tight compartments and an expert crew.

The only evidence found was the starboard lifeboat, which was recovered from floating wreckage some time later. The lifeboats hung from forward and aft blocks 20 meters (66 ft) above the waterline.

The pins had been bent back from forward to aft, indicating the lifeboat hanging below it had been struck by a wave that had run from fore to aft of the ship and had torn the lifeboat from the ship. To exert such force the wave must have been considerably higher than 20 meters (66 ft).

At the time of the inquiry, the existence of rogue waves was considered so statistically unlikely as to be near impossible. Consequently, the Maritime Court investigation concluded that the severe weather had somehow created an 'unusual event' that had led to the sinking of the Munches.

The survey team deployed a remotely operated vehicle to photograph the wreck. A private report was published in 1998 that prompted the British government to reopen a formal investigation into the sinking.

The formal forensic investigation concluded that the ship sank because of structural failure and absolved the crew of any responsibility. Most notably, the report determined the detailed sequence of events that led to the structural failure of the vessel.

A third comprehensive analysis was subsequently done by Douglas Faulkner, professor of marine architecture and ocean engineering at the University of Glasgow. His 2001 report linked the loss of the Derbyshire with the emerging science on freak waves, concluding that the Derbyshire was almost certainly destroyed by a rogue wave.

In 2004 an extreme wave was recorded impacting the Admiralty Breakwater, Alberta in the Channel Islands. The peak pressure recorded by a shore-mounted transducer was 745 kilopascals (108.1 psi).

This pressure far exceeds almost any design criteria for modern ships and this wave would have destroyed almost any merchant vessel. Work by Smith in 2007 confirmed prior forensic work by Faulkner in 1998 and determined that the Derbyshire was exposed to a hydrostatic pressure of a “static head” of water of about 20 meters (66 ft) with a resultant static pressure of 201 kilopascals (18.7 kN/sq ft).

This is in effect 20 meters (66 ft) of green water (possibly a super rogue wave) flowing over the vessel. The deck cargo hatches on the Derbyshire were determined to be the key point of failure when the rogue wave washed over the ship.

The design of the hatches only allowed for a static pressure of less than 2 meters (6.6 ft) of water or 17.1 kilopascals (1.59 kN/sq ft), meaning that the typhoon load on the hatches was more than ten times the design load. The forensic structural analysis of the wreck of the Derbyshire is now widely regarded as irrefutable.

In addition, fast moving waves are now known to also exert extremely high dynamic pressure. It is known that plunging or breaking waves can cause short-lived impulse pressure spikes called Rifle peaks.

Smith has documented scenarios where hydrodynamic pressure of up to 5,650 kilopascals (525 kN/sq ft) or over 500 metric tonnes per 1 square meter (11 sq ft) could occur. In November 1997 the International Maritime Organization (IMO) adopted new rules covering survivability and structural requirements for bulk carriers of 150 meters (490 ft) and upwards.

The bulkhead and double bottom must be strong enough to allow the ship to survive flooding in hold one unless loading is restricted. Rogue waves present considerable danger for several reasons: they are rare, unpredictable, may appear suddenly or without warning, and can impact with tremendous force.

A 12-metre (39 ft) wave in the usual “linear” model would have a breaking force of 6 metric tons per square meter (8.5 psi). Although modern ships are designed to (typically) tolerate a breaking wave of 15 t/m 2, a rogue wave can dwarf both of these figures with a breaking force far exceeding 100 t/m 2.

Smith has presented calculations using the International Association of Classification Societies (ACS) Common Structural Rules (CSR) for a typical bulk carrier which are consistent. Peter Challenge, a leading scientist in this field from the National Oceanography Center in the United Kingdom, was quoted in Casey's book in 2010 as saying: “We don’t have that random messy theory for nonlinear waves.

He added, “People have been working actively on this for the past 50 years at least. In 2006 Smith proposed that the International Association of Classification Societies (ACS) recommendation 34 pertaining to standard wave data be modified so that the minimum design wave height be increased to 65 feet (19.8 m).

He presented analysis that there was sufficient evidence to conclude that 66 feet (20.1 m) high waves can be experienced in the 25-year lifetime of oceangoing vessels, and that 98 feet (29.9 m) high waves are less likely, but not out of the question. Therefore, a design criterion based on 36 feet (11.0 m) high waves seems inadequate when the risk of losing crew and cargo is considered.

Smith has also proposed that the dynamic force of wave impacts should be included in the structural analysis. The Norwegian offshore standards now take into account extreme severe wave conditions and require that a 10,000-year wave does not endanger the ships' integrity.

Rosenthal notes that as at 2005 rogue waves were not explicitly accounted for in Classification Societies’ Rules for ships’ design. As an example, DNS GL, one of the world's largest international certification body and classification society with main expertise in technical assessment, advisory, and risk management publishes their Structure Design Load Principles which remain largely based on the 'Significant Wave height' and as at January 2016 still has not included any allowance for rogue waves.

The U.S. Navy historically took the design position that the largest wave likely to be encountered was 21.4 m (70 ft). Smith observed in 2007 that the navy now believes that larger waves can occur and the possibility of extreme waves that are steeper (i.e. do not have longer wavelengths) is now recognized.

The navy has not had to make any fundamental changes in ship design as a consequence of new knowledge of waves greater than 21.4 m (70 ft) because they build to higher standards. There are more than 50 classification societies worldwide, each with different rules, although most new ships are built to the standards of the 12 members of the International Association of Classification Societies, which implemented two sets of Common Structural Rules; one for oil tankers and one for bulk carriers; in 2006.

^ Smith has presented calculations for a hypothetical bulk carrier with a length of 275 m and a displacement of 161,000 metric tons where the design hydrostatic pressure 8.75 m below the waterline would be 88 kN/m 2 (8.9 t/m 2). ^ Rogue quantum harmonic oscillations, Chan Bandit, Physical A 547, 124462, 1 June 2021 ^ Dynamics of nonautonomous rogue waves in Bose–Einstein condensate, Li-Chen Zhao, Annals of Physics 329, 73-79, 2013 ^ Rogue heat and diffusion waves, Chan Bandit, Chaos, Solutions & Fractals 139, 110047, October 2020 ^ Financial rogue waves, An Henry, Communications in Theoretical Physics 54, 5, 2010 ^ Predictability of Rogue Events, Simon Borehole, Carsten Free, Than American, and Günter Stammerer, Physical Review Letters 114, 213901, 28 May 2015 ^ Rogue Waves : The Fourteenth 'Aha Julio'A Hawaiian Winter Workshop” (PDF).

Freak wave event at Draper jacket January 1, 1995 (PDF) (Report). ^ a b Benetazzo, Advise; Barbarian, Francesco; Bergamasco, Filippo; Bordello, Andrea; Carnies, Sandro; Slave, Mauro (2015-06-22).

Doctoral Dissertation, Monterey, California Naval Postgraduate School : 2. They cannot be felt aboard ships, nor can they be seen from the air in the open ocean.

Royal Commission on the Ocean Ranger Marine Disaster (Canada) (1985). Safety offshore Eastern Canada, summary of studies & seminars.

The Power of the Sea: Tsunamis, Storm Surges, Rogue Waves, and Our Quest to Predict Disasters. Dumont d'Orville, in his narrative, expressed the opinion that the waves reached a height of 'at least 80 to 100 feet'.

In an era when opinions were being expressed that no wave would exceed 30 feet, Dumont d'Orville's estimations were received, it seemed, with some skepticism. No one was more outspoken in his rejection than François Aragon, who, calling for a more scientific approach to the estimation of wave height in his instructions for the physical research on the voyage of the Bonita, suggested that imagination played a part in estimations as high as '33 meters' (108 feet).

Later, in his 1841 report on the results of the Venus expedition, Aragon made further reference to the 'truly prodigious waves with which the lively imagination of certain navigators delights in covering the seas' ^ The Wave”: The growing danger of monster waves ". ^ Michel Lagoon, Marc Provost (20 October 2004).

Rogue Waves 2004: Proceedings of a Workshop Organized by IFREMER and Held in Brest, France, 20-21-22 October 2004, Within the Brest Sea Tech Week 2004. “Severe Wave Conditions at Sea” (PDF).

“Draper E had only been operating in the North Sea for around half a year, when a huge wave struck the platform like a hammer. He is the head of the underwater technology, instrumentation and monitoring at the Norwegian CGI ... but the data were not wrong.

When CGI looked over the measurements and calculated the effect of the wave that had hit the platform, the conclusion was clear: The wave that struck the unmanned platform Draper E on 1 January 1995 was indeed extreme. An analysis of the extreme statistical properties of these waves has been made.

The analysis is based on more than 12 years of wave records from the Mærsk Lie OG Gas AS operated Form Field, which is located in the Danish sector of the Central North Sea. The extreme statistical distribution is represented by a Weibull distribution with an upper bound, where the upper bound is the value for a depth-limited breaking wave.

Based on the measured data, a procedure for determining the freak wave crest height with a given return period is proposed. A sensitivity analysis of the extreme value of the crest height is also made.

IFREMER and IRON organized a workshop on Rogue waves “, 29–30 November 2000, during SeaTechWeek 2000, Le Quartz, Brest, France. The Wave: In the Pursuit of the Rogues, Freaks and Giants of the Ocean.

“Were extreme waves in the Rockfall Through the largest ever recorded?” In February 2000 those onboard a British oceanographic research vessel near Rockfall, west of Scotland experienced the largest waves ever recorded by scientific instruments in the open ocean.

Under severe gale force conditions with wind speeds averaging 21 ms1 a ship borne wave recorder measured individual waves up to 29.1 m from crest to trough, and a maximum significant wave height of 18.5 m. The fully formed sea developed in unusual conditions as westerly winds blew across the North Atlantic for two days, during which time a frontal system propagated at a speed close to the group velocity of the peak waves. ^ a b “Critical review on potential use of satellite date to find rogue waves (PDF).

^ “Observing the Earth: Ship-Sinking Monster Waves revealed by ESA Satellites”. Extreme Waves and Ship Design (PDF).

10th International Symposium on Practical Design of Ships and Other Floating Structures. Recent research has demonstrated that extreme waves, waves with crest to trough heights of 20 to 30 meters, occur more frequently than previously thought.

John H. Steele; Steve A. Thorpe; Karl K. Turkish (26 August 2009). Elements of Physical Oceanography: A derivative of the Encyclopedia of Ocean Sciences.

“Lego Pirate Proves, Survives, Super Rogue Wave”. “A new algorithm from MIT could protect ships from rogue waves at sea”.

Real world ocean rogue waves explained without the modulation instability”. Chase / Rogue Waves -2004, Brest, France ^ Endeavor or Caledonian Star report, March 2, 2001, 53°03S 63°35W / 53.050°S 63.583°W / -53.050; -63.583 ^ MS Bremen report, February 22, 2001, 45°54S 38°58W / 45.900°S 38.967°W / -45.900; -38.967 ^ R. Colin Johnson (December 24, 2007).

“EE's Working With Optical Fibers Demystify Rogue Wave' Phenomenon”. ^ Killer, B.; Fa tome, J.; Minot, C.; Millet, G.; Dias, F.; Gently, G.; Ahmedi, N.; Dudley, J.M.

Munro (1979) pages 170–1 ^ The New York Times, September 26, 1901, p. 16 ^ Freaquewaves (17 December 2009). “Braque Waves : The encounter of RMS Lusitania”.

CS1 main: archived copy as title (link) , Müller, et al., Rogue Waves, ” 2005 ^ Kerberos, Richard DE (2009). ^ a b Rogue Giants at Sea, Broad, William J, New York Times, July 11, 2006 ^ “Ship-sinking monster waves revealed by ESA satellites”, ESA News, July 21, 2004, accessed June 18, 2010 ^ Master, Jeffrey.

Edited footage viewable online at Discovery.com Archived 2009-08-06 at the Payback Machine ^ “Monster waves threaten rescue helicopters” (PDF). Naval Institute, December 15, 2006 ^ “Dos Puerto y 16 periods POR RNA OLA gig ante en UN Cicero con destiny a Cartagena”.

^ “Giant rogue wave slams into ship off French coast, killing 2”. NAME Transactions, Royal Institution of Naval Architects.

The author's starting point therefore was to look for an extraordinary cause. He reasoned that nothing could be more extraordinary than the violence of a fully arisen and chaotic storm tossed sea.

Brest: French Research Institute for Exploitation of the Sea. The MV Derbyshire was registered at Liverpool and, at the time, was the largest ship ever built: it was twice the size of the Titanic.

In 1997, the Deep Submergence Operations Group of the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution conducted an underwater forensic survey of the UK bulk carrier MV Derbyshire with a suite of underwater vehicles. This report describes the navigation systems and methodologies used to precisely position the vessel and vehicles.

Precise navigation permits the survey team to control the path of the subsea vehicle in order to execute the survey plan, provides the ability to return to specific targets, and allows the assessment team to correlate observations made at different times from different vehicles. In this report, we summarize the techniques used to locate Argo as well as the repeatability of those navigation fixes.

To determine repeatability, we selected a number of instances where the vehicle lines crossed. By registering two images from overlapping areas on different track lines, we can determine the true position offset.

The average error for 123 points across a single tie line was 3.1 meters, the average error for a more scattered selection of 18 points was 1.9 meters. There is sufficient evidence to conclude that 66-foot high waves can be experienced in the 25-year lifetime of oceangoing vessels, and that 98-foot high waves are less likely, but not out of the question.

Therefore, a design criterion based on 36-foot high waves seems inadequate when the risk of losing crew and cargo is considered. The Norwegian offshore standards take into account extreme severe wave conditions by requiring that a 10,000-year wave does not endanger the structure’s integrity (Accidental Limit State, ALS).

General Terms and Conditions of the respective latest edition will be applicable. The Wave: In Pursuit of the Rogues, Freaks and Giants of the Ocean.

Christian Sharif; EFI Pelinovsky; Alexey Sundae (11 December 2008). The Power of the Sea: Tsunamis, Storm Surges, Rogue Waves, and Our Quest to Predict Disasters.

The Science of Ocean Waves : Ripples, Tsunamis, and Stormy Seas. Nonlinear Ocean Waves & the Inverse Scattering Transform.

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