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Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Freaque wave articles

The last two days I have came across two freaque wave articles in two new media kind of outlets I have not heard before. Both articles seem to be resulted from reading the BBC News article I alluded to earlier that's reporting on Tim Janssen's recent work in Journal of Physical Oceanography. One outlet is called redOrbit with an article entitled "Scientists find freak wave hot spots" published yesterday. This is a competently well written article introducing the forming of "hot spot" Janssen developed. If you have time to read only one article, I would recommend that you read this one. I do have a small nitpicking though. At one place the article commented:

Throughout history, there have been many seafaring tales about rogue waves that could overtake a ship.

These waves are characterized as measuring about three times higher than other waves on the sea in the same time frame. They can hit up to 60 feet in height, which is comparable to a six-story building.

The freaque waves that have been accurately estimated are actually close to twice the 60 feet height cited there.

The other outlet is called "Softpedia" with an article entitled "Understanding 'freak waves' and their sources" published today. This article, alas, convinced me that the author really doesn't know what he was talking about and he did not spend time to do an adequate research before I finish reading its first paragraph. I shall not make any quote here. Every sentence there is questionable. I do believe he may have talked to somebody, since he mentioned 1995 "Draupner wave" in his second paragraph. But Draupner wave is most certainly NOT the "first scientific reading" about freaque waves. Anyway don't bother with this kind of articles, at least you won't waste any time in the first place.

The Softpedia article included this un-named offshore oil platform:

Yes indeed, massive oil platforms can be vulnerable to freaque waves. But that is clearly not what Tim Janssen's work expects to address.

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