OCC Forums

Research into Abnormal Waves


By George.Curtis - 29 Jan 2019

Oxford Scientists generate freak waves!
The Draupner wave was one of the first confirmed observations of a freak wave in the ocean; it was observed on the 1st of January 1995 in the North Sea by measurements made on the Draupner Oil Platform. The team of researchers set out to reproduce the Draupner wave under laboratory conditions to understand how this freak wave was formed in the ocean. They successfully achieved this reconstruction by creating the wave using two smaller wave groups and varying the crossing angle – the angle at which the two groups travel.

It was the crossing angle between the two smaller groups that proved critical to the successful reconstruction. The researchers found it was only possible to reproduce the freak wave when the crossing angle between the two groups was approximately 120 degrees.

By bbalme - 30 Jan 2019

Very interesting post George, thanks. I had to go and take a look at the paper!

I didn't try to wade through the mathematics - but it appears to me that they only experimented with three crossing angles - 0, 60 and 120 degrees and concluded that the freak waves could be generated with crossing angles between 60 and 120. Is that how you read it? Seems like a rather small data set to be making such conclusions. (I have NOT read the article completely - it's largely over my head!)

By DariaBlackwell - 31 Jan 2019

George, finally a study that proves why we get so thrashed when rounding Achill Head. It has got to be the worst confused and nasty piece of ocean around, and all because the waves bounce off Clare Island at about 120 degree angles from the waves that hit the cliffs at the head. I've been observing this for years. Now we know for sure!