Essay Title: 

Rogue Waves

March 17, 2016 | Author: | Posted in geology and geophysics, nature

Rogue Waves

A killer wave , known to mariners as a “rogue wave ” was approaching a desolate area of Baja California below Ensenada . It had been born off the east coast of Australia during a violent storm it had traveled almost 7 ,000 miles at a speed of 20 .83 miles an hour . Driven by an unusual pattern of easterly winds , it was a little over 800 feet in length and measure about 48 feet from the bottom of it trough to its crest . On its passage of the Pacific , it had already killed [banner_entry_middle]

thirteen people , mostly fishermen in small boats , but also an entire French family of five aboard a 48-foot schooner

– Theodore Taylor , Rogue Wave : And Other Red-

Blooded Sea Stories (1996

For that matter , the Tamaroa herself , at 205 feet , is not necessarily immune to disaster . One freak wave could roll her over and put eighty men in the water

– Sebastian Junger , The Perfect Storm : A True Story of

Men Against the Sea (1997

In February 1933 , the U .S . Navy steamship Ramapo was traveling to Manila from San Diego when it experienced a severe storm . Gale-force winds raged for several days , 50-foot swells brewed in the North Pacific . It was in these circumstances that the ship encountered one truly enormous upsurge of water . The officer on watch triangulated the monster wave and calculated its height at 112 feet – equivalent to a ten-story building . It is still the biggest wave ever reliably measured . It is called a rogue wave

Rogue waves are monstrous waves of drastically larger dimension than the surrounding swell . They are defined as large amplitude waves whose heights exceed two times the significant wave height of the background sea (Significant wave height or SWH is defined as the mean of the largest third of waves in a wave record ) According to naval hydrography terminology , waves 15 to 25 feet high are called sneaker waves , and waves100 feet high or over are classified as freak waves or rogue waves They are likely to occur where a swell encounters a current that is moving in a curved path , or an eddy at it is called (Environmental Literacy Council , 2006 , para 2

Rogue waves are also caused by the accidental meeting of two or more relatively smaller waves . Open-ocean swells travel in wave trains and even in the same wave train , individual swell heights can differ . But when wave trains from different storms meet in the open ocean or in areas where there are strong currents , individual waves can combine their energy to form a surprisingly massive wall of water , which is known as a rogue wave . Thus a rogue wave is seen to be originating in a rare confluence of crests (Garrison , 2005 ,

.239 . However , it is not clear how a simple superposition of waves , resulting in constructive interference , can result in waves of such gargantuan size , which moreover seem to occur not too infrequently

Rogue waves represent a transient ocean phenomenon that usually… [banner_entry_footer]


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