Study finds rogue waves are fact, not myth

Jul 11, 2006

A German scientist says deadly "rogue waves" of 100 feet or higher are more common than thought.

Such enormous waves -- some taller than a 10-story building -- have, in the past, been considered sea tales, together with sightings of mermaids and sea monsters, The New York Times reported. Scientists say such waves might have been responsible for the mysterious sinking of dozens of large ships and the loss of many lives.

Wolfgang Rosenthal, a German scientist who helped the Paris-based European Space Agency pioneer the study of rogue waves by radar satellite, told the Times he estimates that, at any given moment, 10 of the giant waves are churning through the world's oceans -- especially in regions having powerful currents: the Agulhas off South Africa, the Kuroshio off Japan, and the Gulf Stream off the eastern United States.

Rosenthal says the proliferation of radar satellites should make it possible to better understand rogue waves and, perhaps, predict their occurrence.

"There will be warnings, maybe in 10 years," he told the Times. "It should be possible."

Copyright 2006 by United Press International

Explore further: NASA HS3 mission Global Hawk's bullseye in Hurricane Edouard

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

New data compression method reduces big-data bottleneck

Dec 19, 2013

(Phys.org) —In creating an entirely new way to compress data, a team of researchers from the UCLA Henry Samueli School of Engineering and Applied Science has drawn inspiration from physics and the arts. ...

Free-floating planets may be born free

Aug 19, 2013

Tiny, round, cold clouds in space have all the right characteristics to form planets with no parent star. New observations, made with Chalmers University of Technology telescopes, show that not all free-floating ...

Wind mission encounters 'SLAMS' waves

Apr 16, 2013

(Phys.org) —As Earth moves around the sun, it travels surrounded by a giant bubble created by its own magnetic fields, called the magnetosphere. As the magnetosphere plows through space, it sets up a standing ...

Recommended for you

NASA image: Fires in the southern United States

16 hours ago

In this image taken by the Aqua satellite of the southern United States actively burning areas as detected by MODIS's thermal bands are outlined in red. Each red hot spot is an area where the thermal detectors ...

Software models ocean currents for oil and gas search

18 hours ago

A study involving the use of streamline visualisation has found the technology can help guide electromagnetic transmitter and receiver placements, thereby aiding the search for oil and gas on the seafloor.

User comments : 0