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Saturday, February 12, 2011

An impressive simulation of freaque waves in the ocean

Here's a very impressive theoretical simulation of freaque waves in the deep ocean I have ever seen:



This is from a Tulane University article entitled "Rogue Waves in the Forecast" by Mary Ann Travis. The article introduced the work of Tulane Physics professor Lev Kaplan that was presented at a colloquium. The voice in the video is presumably that of Prof. Kaplan.

This is impressive because it is a very realistic simulation of a small area of the ocean. And the occurrence of the freaque waves is readily demonstrated and undeniably believable. Though the real ocean may even be more complicated since there are still winds, wave breaking, and wave propagation effects not included in the simulation. While different people may derive different reactions to this simulation, I am being confronted with the nagging thought of how do we making realistic measurements to verify this theoretical result? Clearly this simulation at least renders the conventional wave measurements with 20 minutes recording at a single point totally ineffective if not useless. The freaque wave or waves came out of nowhere, lasted about 5 - 10 seconds and then everything returns to calm again. That's what has been reported to have happening out there. Now it has been theoretically substantiated. I think we are entering a brand new era of ocean wave research -- dealing with the real ocean, so that the wave research that still rely on single point wave measurements with 20 minutes recording for verification should clearly be deemed antiquated. At the gateway of the starting of the second decade of the 21st century, I can only say "It's about time!"

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