Tuesday, August 05, 2008

A local wave news, etc.

Sometimes localized freaque waves happen but the news might not that easy to come by. This news of an encounter of large waves by an orca-watching tour boat, Olympas, last Thursday as reported by Jeff Chew of the Peninsula Daily News was actually referred to from this interesting examiner.com item by Laura Vecsey.

There is still not much details, however, about what was really happened except that it was a freak accident, three surprise waves hit the vessel in a fog bank that "left four passengers slightly injured and a window broken over the bow" and that
The Olympas was just west of Point Wilson when he waves hit, shortly after the vessel left the marina at 10 a.m.

The waves jostled the boat and passengers but no one was seriously hurt, he reported.
I guess this kind of reporting is to be expected from local news that's not really concerned about the science of freaque waves. It was waves unexpected. No one was able to note and provide any more relevant infos that's all. Oh well!

Vecsey's article included this interesting picture:
I am wondering whether the picture is for real or it was photoshoped. No photographer or photo credit was given.

Vecsey also referenced the article by Charles Q. Choi reporting the research of physicist Peter McClintock of the University of Lancaster in England suggesting that smaller waves can "concentrate together to become abnormally large waves" and "that emerge surprisingly quickly" that led McClintock to conclude: "I'm pretty sure this is how rogue waves come about."

The basis of the research is this:
To investigate these waves, the researchers experimented with liquid helium in a cavity just an inch wide, whose fluid properties they could readily tinker with, far more so than attempting to do the same at sea.
Somehow I have difficulty sharing McClintock's optimism on solving the freaque waves formation problem. Can we representing the vast ocean surface in a one inch wide liquid helium??? But his news is starting to making rounds: e.g. here and here.

No comments: