Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Surf’s up: Professor using models to predict huge waves

16.02.2005


If you’re a ship captain and there might be 50-foot waves headed your way, you’d appreciate some information about them, right? That’s the idea behind a wave model system a Texas A&M University at Galveston professor has developed. His detailed wave prediction system is currently in use in the Gulf of Mexico and the Gulf of Maine.



Vijay Panchang, head of the Department of Maritime Systems Engineering, doesn’t make waves - he predicts what they’ll do, when they’ll do it and how high they’ll get. Using data provided daily from NOAA and his own complex mathematical models, Panchang and research engineer Doncheng Li provide daily wave model predictions for much of the Texas coast, the Gulf of Mexico and the Gulf of Maine. Their simulations, updated every 12 hours, provide a forecast for two days ahead. "The models we provide are based on very detailed information, such as seabed topography, offshore wave conditions, wind speed and direction and other factors," Panchang explains.

"It’s useful information for anyone in coastal waters. Texas has a huge coastline, and Maine has more than 3,000 miles of coast. Recreational and fishing boats, cruise ships, commercial ships, and others can use this information. Coastal wave information can also be used to predict sediment transport and for engineering design." Because the models use wind data, tsunamis that are created by undersea earthquakes can’t be predicted. But that’s not to say his modeling system doesn’t come up with some big waves. His wave model predicted big waves in November 2003 in the Gulf of Maine, and it was accurate - waves as high as 30 feet were recorded during one storm even in coastal regions.


Last summer during Hurricane Ivan, a buoy located 60 miles south of the Alabama coast recorded a whopping 60-foot wave. "There may have been higher waves because right after recording the 60- foot wave, the buoy snapped and stopped functioning," he says. "Also, the 50-foot wave is an average measure of the sea-state, and the highest waves could be nearly twice as big. Waves during storms can be quite high, and 50-foot waves are not uncommon," Panchang reports. He notes that during a storm in 1995 off the Halifax coast, the captain of the Queen Elizabeth II reported a monstrous 95-foot wave.

Panchang is also developing a similar wave model prediction system for the Prince William Sound Oil Recovery Institute in the Alaska port of Valdez, site of the Exxon Valdez oil spill. That wave model system should be online by next year.

Anyone on the water wants to know how high the waves will be when they out at sea," he says. "We provide a valuable service to those on ships and boats who want to know what the wave conditions will be like in the next 24 hours."

Keith Randall | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.tamu.edu

More articles from Information Technology:

nachricht Five developments for improved data exploitation
19.04.2017 | Deutsches Forschungszentrum für Künstliche Intelligenz GmbH, DFKI

nachricht Smart Manual Workstations Deliver More Flexible Production
04.04.2017 | Deutsches Forschungszentrum für Künstliche Intelligenz GmbH, DFKI

All articles from Information Technology >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Making lightweight construction suitable for series production

More and more automobile companies are focusing on body parts made of carbon fiber reinforced plastics (CFRP). However, manufacturing and repair costs must be further reduced in order to make CFRP more economical in use. Together with the Volkswagen AG and five other partners in the project HolQueSt 3D, the Laser Zentrum Hannover e.V. (LZH) has developed laser processes for the automatic trimming, drilling and repair of three-dimensional components.

Automated manufacturing processes are the basis for ultimately establishing the series production of CFRP components. In the project HolQueSt 3D, the LZH has...

Im Focus: Wonder material? Novel nanotube structure strengthens thin films for flexible electronics

Reflecting the structure of composites found in nature and the ancient world, researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign have synthesized thin carbon nanotube (CNT) textiles that exhibit both high electrical conductivity and a level of toughness that is about fifty times higher than copper films, currently used in electronics.

"The structural robustness of thin metal films has significant importance for the reliable operation of smart skin and flexible electronics including...

Im Focus: Deep inside Galaxy M87

The nearby, giant radio galaxy M87 hosts a supermassive black hole (BH) and is well-known for its bright jet dominating the spectrum over ten orders of magnitude in frequency. Due to its proximity, jet prominence, and the large black hole mass, M87 is the best laboratory for investigating the formation, acceleration, and collimation of relativistic jets. A research team led by Silke Britzen from the Max Planck Institute for Radio Astronomy in Bonn, Germany, has found strong indication for turbulent processes connecting the accretion disk and the jet of that galaxy providing insights into the longstanding problem of the origin of astrophysical jets.

Supermassive black holes form some of the most enigmatic phenomena in astrophysics. Their enormous energy output is supposed to be generated by the...

Im Focus: A Quantum Low Pass for Photons

Physicists in Garching observe novel quantum effect that limits the number of emitted photons.

The probability to find a certain number of photons inside a laser pulse usually corresponds to a classical distribution of independent events, the so-called...

Im Focus: Microprocessors based on a layer of just three atoms

Microprocessors based on atomically thin materials hold the promise of the evolution of traditional processors as well as new applications in the field of flexible electronics. Now, a TU Wien research team led by Thomas Müller has made a breakthrough in this field as part of an ongoing research project.

Two-dimensional materials, or 2D materials for short, are extremely versatile, although – or often more precisely because – they are made up of just one or a...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Expert meeting “Health Business Connect” will connect international medical technology companies

20.04.2017 | Event News

Wenn der Computer das Gehirn austrickst

18.04.2017 | Event News

7th International Conference on Crystalline Silicon Photovoltaics in Freiburg on April 3-5, 2017

03.04.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

DGIST develops 20 times faster biosensor

24.04.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

Nanoimprinted hyperlens array: Paving the way for practical super-resolution imaging

24.04.2017 | Materials Sciences

Atomic-level motion may drive bacteria's ability to evade immune system defenses

24.04.2017 | Life Sciences

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>