It is generally known among seafarers that in normal waves you can suddenly stand eye to eye with 25- to 30-meter waves, so-called monster waves. Unlike a tsunami, which is formed by powerful earthquakes at the bottom of the sea, monster waves arise out to sea among regular waves caused by winds. These monster waves are believed to have caused many shipwrecks through the years, and it is well known that oil platforms, like those off the Norwegian coast, are occasionally shaken by these waves.
Now, under the direction of Padma Shukla, scientists Bengt Eliasson, Mattias Marklund, and Lennart Stenflo of Umeå University have shown that normal random small waves, from gusts of wind, for instance, can suddenly give rise to monster waves. If the conditions are right, these monster waves grow by ‘borrowing’ energy from surrounding waves, a so-called non-linear effect, and these scientists have now managed to use computer simulations and other methods to produce images of how these waves are created. The results achieved by the Umeå researchers also show that such waves grow to enormous proportions many times more quickly than was previously believed.
“The consequences of an encounter with monster waves are catastrophic for those working on ships and oil platforms. These new research findings can enhance our knowledge of how and why monster waves form. Detailed knowledge of this phenomenon will be a cornerstone in finding methods to predict the course of these waves,” says Mattias Marklund, professor of physics at Umeå University.
Since monster waves appear to come out of nowhere and do not have the properties we usually associate with waves, stories of monster waves have previously been viewed as tall tales. In recent years, however, satellites have been used to observe how these waves suddenly appear, only to disappear just as suddenly. The findings from these observations have led to the insight that monster waves occur much more frequently than was ever suspected.
These findings are presented in the scientific journal Physical Review Letters.
Press Office | alfa
Black hole spin cranks-up radio volume
15.01.2018 | National Institutes of Natural Sciences
The universe up close
15.01.2018 | Georg-August-Universität Göttingen
What enables electrons to be transferred swiftly, for example during photosynthesis? An interdisciplinary team of researchers has worked out the details of how...
For the first time, scientists have precisely measured the effective electrical charge of a single molecule in solution. This fundamental insight of an SNSF Professor could also pave the way for future medical diagnostics.
Electrical charge is one of the key properties that allows molecules to interact. Life itself depends on this phenomenon: many biological processes involve...
At the JEC World Composite Show in Paris in March 2018, the Fraunhofer Institute for Laser Technology ILT will be focusing on the latest trends and innovations in laser machining of composites. Among other things, researchers at the booth shared with the Aachen Center for Integrative Lightweight Production (AZL) will demonstrate how lasers can be used for joining, structuring, cutting and drilling composite materials.
No other industry has attracted as much public attention to composite materials as the automotive industry, which along with the aerospace industry is a driver...
Scientists at Tokyo Institute of Technology (Tokyo Tech) and Tohoku University have developed high-quality GFO epitaxial films and systematically investigated their ferroelectric and ferromagnetic properties. They also demonstrated the room-temperature magnetocapacitance effects of these GFO thin films.
Multiferroic materials show magnetically driven ferroelectricity. They are attracting increasing attention because of their fascinating properties such as...
The oceans are the largest global heat reservoir. As a result of man-made global warming, the temperature in the global climate system increases; around 90% of...
08.01.2018 | Event News
11.12.2017 | Event News
08.12.2017 | Event News
16.01.2018 | Materials Sciences
16.01.2018 | Life Sciences
16.01.2018 | Health and Medicine