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TECHNICAL PAPERS

Uncertainties in Extreme Wave Height Estimates for Hurricane-Dominated Regions

[+] Author and Article Information
Philip Jonathan

 Shell Research Limited, P.O. Box 1, Chester, United Kingdomphilip.jonathan@shell.com

Kevin Ewans

 Shell International Exploration and Production, P.O. Box 60, 2280 AB Rijswijk, The Netherlandskevin.ewans@shell.com

J. Offshore Mech. Arct. Eng 129(4), 300-305 (Jan 30, 2007) (6 pages) doi:10.1115/1.2746401 History: Received September 01, 2006; Revised January 30, 2007

Inherent uncertainties in estimation of extreme wave heights in hurricane-dominated regions are explored using data from the GOMOS Gulf of Mexico hindcast for 1900–2005. In particular, the effect of combining correlated values from a neighborhood of 72 grid locations on extreme wave height estimation is quantified. We show that, based on small data samples, extreme wave heights are underestimated and site averaging usually improves estimates. We present a bootstrapping approach to evaluate uncertainty in extreme wave height estimates. We also argue in favor of modeling supplementary indicators for extreme wave characteristics, such as a high percentile (95%) of the distribution of 100-year significant wave height, in addition to its most probable value, especially for environments where the distribution of 100-year significant wave height is strongly skewed.

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Copyright © 2007 by American Society of Mechanical Engineers
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Figures

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Figure 1

Histogram of storm peak data, for all values for HSsp in excess of 2.5m. Constant histogram bin width.

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Figure 2

(a) Scatter plot of HSsp for diagonally opposite grid corners. The two sets of data are highly correlated. (b) Spearman rank correlation map showing rank correlation coefficients for all pairs of locations, using data with HSsp in excess of 2.5m. Locations are numbered numerically from 1 to 72, such that successive groups of 12 locations correspond to different longitudes at a given latitude. Top left shows positive rank correlations. Bottom right (empty) shows negative rank correlations. Gray scale indicates value of rank correlation. Mean rank correlation between locations is 0.886, with minimum of 0.535 and maximum of 0.997.

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Figure 3

Maximum value of HSsp per location. Gray scale indicates value.

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Figure 4

Variation of estimated extreme value index, for combinations of locations of different sizes, as a function of sample size per location. Gaussian perturbation standard deviation, β=1.

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Figure 5

Variation of estimated extreme value scale, for combinations of locations of different sizes, as a function of sample size per location. Gaussian perturbation standard deviation, β=1.

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Figure 6

Variation of ĤS100yrMP, for combinations of locations of different sizes, as a function of sample size per location. Gaussian perturbation standard deviation, β=1.

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Figure 7

Variation of ĤS100yrMP, for combinations of locations of different sizes, as a function of sample size per location. Gaussian perturbation standard deviation, β=5.

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Figure 8

HS100yrMP, HS100yr0.95, HS100yr0.50, and HS100yr0.05 as a function of extreme value index γ̂ for the standard case σ̂=1, u=0. The distribution becomes skewed to the right as γ̂ approaches zero from below.

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