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Natural Hazards and Earth System Sciences An interactive open-access journal of the European Geosciences Union
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Preprints
https://doi.org/10.5194/nhess-2020-60
© Author(s) 2020. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.
https://doi.org/10.5194/nhess-2020-60
© Author(s) 2020. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

  16 Mar 2020

16 Mar 2020

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A revised version of this preprint was accepted for the journal NHESS and is expected to appear here in due course.

A Statistical Analysis of Rogue Waves in the Southern North Sea

Ina Teutsch1, Ralf Weisse1, Jens Moeller2, and Oliver Krueger1 Ina Teutsch et al.
  • 1Helmholtz-Zentrum Geesthacht, Max-Planck-Str. 1, 21502 Geesthacht
  • 2Federal Maritime and Hydrographic Agency, Bernhard-Nocht-Straße 78, 20359 Hamburg

Abstract. A new wave dataset from the southern North Sea covering the period 2011–2016 and composed of wave buoy and radar measurements sampling the sea surface height at frequencies between 1.28–4 Hz was quality controlled and scanned for the presence of rogue waves. Here rogue waves refer to waves whose height exceeds twice the significant wave height. Rogue wave frequencies were analysed, compared to Rayleigh and Forristall distributions, and spatial, seasonal and long-term variability was assessed. Rogue wave frequency appeared to be relatively constant over the course of the year and uncorrelated among the different measurement sites. While data from buoys basically correspond with expectations from the Forristall distribution, radar measurement showed some deviations in the upper tail pointing towards higher rogue wave frequencies. Number of data available in the upper tail is, however, still limited to allow a robust assessment. Some indications were found that the distribution of waves in samples with and without rogue waves were different in a statistical sense. However, differences were small and deemed not to be relevant as attempts to use them as a criterion for rogue wave detection were not successful in Monte Carlo experiments based on the available data.

Ina Teutsch et al.

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Ina Teutsch et al.

Ina Teutsch et al.

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Short summary
Rogue waves pose a threat to marine operations and structures. Typically, a wave is called a rogue wave when its height exceeds twice that of the surrounding waves. There is still discussion on the extent to which such waves are unusual. A new data set of about 329 million waves from the southern North Sea was analyzed. While data from wave buoys mostly corresponded to expectations from known distributions, radar measurements showed some deviations pointing towards higher rogue wave frequencies.
Rogue waves pose a threat to marine operations and structures. Typically, a wave is called a...
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