Research Papers

Are There Different Kinds of Rogue Waves?

[+] Author and Article Information
Paul C. Liu

 NOAA Great Lakes Environmental Research Laboratory, Ann Arbor, MI, 48105

Keith R. MacHutchon

 Liebenberg & Stander International (Pty) Ltd., Cape Town, 8000 South Africa

J. Offshore Mech. Arct. Eng 130(2), 021007 (Jun 06, 2008) (7 pages) doi:10.1115/1.2917431 History: Received October 04, 2006; Revised December 19, 2007; Published June 06, 2008

There is clearly no immediate answer to the question posted by the title of this paper. Inasmuch as that there are not much definitively known about rogue waves and that there is still no universally accepted definition for rogue waves in the ocean, we think there might just be even more than one kind of rogue waves to contend with. While the conventional approach has generally designated waves with HmaxHs greater than 2.2 as possible rogue waves, based on Rayleigh distribution considerations, there is conspicuously no provision as to how high the ratio of HmaxHs can be and thus not known how high can a rogue wave be. In our analysis of wave measurements made from a gas-drilling platform in South Indian Ocean, offshore from Mossel Bay, South Africa, we found a number of cases that indicated HmaxHs could be valued in the range between 4 and 10. If this were to be the case, then these records could be considered to be “uncommon” rogue waves, whereas a record of HmaxHs in the range between 2 and 4 could be considered to comprise “typical” rogue waves. On the other hand, the spikes in the Hmax data could have been caused by equipment malfunction or some other phenomenon. Clearly, the question of whether or not there are different kinds of rogue waves cannot be readily answered by theoretical considerations alone and there is a crucial need for long-term wave time-series measurements for studying rogue waves.

Copyright © 2008 by American Society of Mechanical Engineers
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Figure 1

A rogue wave in South Indian Ocean, near Durbin

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Figure 2

A map showing the location of the FA Platform

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Figure 3

A snapshot of the FA Platform

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Figure 4

Schematic illustration of the platform wave measurement

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Figure 5

Correlation plot of Hmax versus Hs

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Figure 6

Percentage of exceedance of Hs, in lower dots, plotted with corresponding values of Hmax for the year 2000

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Figure 7

Percentage of exceedance of Hmax plotted with corresponding values of Hs for the year 2000

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Figure 8

Physical environment of the area where wave measurements were made

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Figure 9

Proposing a new classification of rogue waves




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