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Thursday, June 05, 2014

Freaque wave an amazing ocean fact?

The ABC Science of Australia just published an fairly interesting article online entitled: "10 facts about our amazing oceans". Of particular interest to me, of course, is its fact #6: Rogue waves really do exist.  Here's what they have to say:
For centuries maritime folklore has had tales of gigantic waves that would appear without warning in mid-ocean and sink ships, even in good weather. These rogue waves are not necessarily the biggest waves ever found at sea, but isolated waves way bigger than what any crew might expect in a given sea state. 
By definition, rogue waves are ones whose height is more than twice that of the prevailing conditions. 
The largest scientifically measured rogue waves were encountered in February 2000, by the British oceanographic research vessel, the RRS Discovery. West of Scotland it recorded individual waves of up to 29.1 metres, almost the height of a 10 storey building. 
The causes of these waves are not completely understood, however they seem to happen more often when a strong ocean current runs counter to the direction of the waves.

Basically all routine informations, nothing new there.  My initial reaction was the article is probably an article for the summer doldrum, but it's not summer right now in Australia.  Is this really an amazing fact? I guess it depends on what do you consider as amazing. Anyway, it's still an interesting, and educational article for recommended reading list.