Shit happens
July 22, 2004 2:08 AM   Subscribe

Rogue wave!
posted by magullo (12 comments total)
From this article: A rogue wave is fortunately a once-in-a-lifetime event for offshore sailors. Fortunately?
posted by tcp at 4:11 AM on July 22, 2004

had a dream about this last night- how odd.
posted by moonbird at 4:24 AM on July 22, 2004

Rogue wave ? Pah ! ......

Mega Tsunami !

"NARRATOR (EMMA FIELDING): 40 million people live and work along the east coast of the United States, yet this entire population unknowingly lives under threat of a sudden catastrophe.

DR. SIMON DAY (Benfield Greig Hazard Research Centre, UCL): The east coast of America is, is the worst place this could happen. It’s not some remote, deserted coastline, it’s one of the most densely populated places in the world.

NARRATOR: Scientists have now found evidence that a colossal wave will one day devastate the coast of America. It will be far bigger than any normal tidal waves, or tsunami. It is what scientists call a mega-tsunami.

PROF. BILL McGUIRE (Benfield Greig Hazard Research Centre, UCL): It’s almost inconceivable how much damage this event will cause and yet the general public knows absolutely nothing about it."

And, on a less sensationalistic note (from "The Tsunami Page of Dr. George P.C." [ Dr. George "P.C." ? ] :

"Based on the interpretation of geological and volcanological observations on the island of La Palma, a subsequent numerical tsunami modeling study was undertaken by Ward &. Day (2001), postulating that a massive landslide, with a volume of up 500 cubic km, could be triggered by the next major eruption of Cumbre Vieja. The study concludes that the collapse of Cumbre Vieja's western flank would generate a destructive mega tsunami which would strike both sides of the North and South Atlantic. Waves of up to 50 m. in height were estimated for Florida and the Caribbean islands, and more than 40 m. for the northern coast of Brazil. Although not as high, destructive waves have been forecast for the western coast of the Iberian Peninsula, France and Britain's Atlantic coastline. Presumably, in certain areas, the tsunami waves would travel as much as six to seven km. inland, destroying everything in their path.

The aseismic slip event on the southern coast of the island of Hawaii, was also interpreted as possible prelude to the triggering of another sudden, massive slope failure of Kilauea's southern flank. Computer modeling of such postulated, massive flank failure (Ward, 2001) forecasts that a Pacific-wide, mega-tsunami would be generated. The study concludes that most of the energy of the mega tsunami will be directed toward the southeast, in the direction of Ecuador, but that coastlines as far away as California, Chile, and Australia will be also endangered. Waves as high as 30 m have been forecast for the west coast of North America, and up to 20 m. high for the southwest Pacific.

Unfortunately, media publicity of these estimates has inadvertently created unnecessary public anxiety, by further implying that the threat to coastal communities may be imminent, in both the Atlantic and the Pacific. The subsequent analysis demonstrates that these estimates are incorrect and that the threat of mega tsunami generation from the slope failures of stratovolcanoes has been greatly overstated"


( From the More about Mega Tsunamis from the Benfield Hazard Research Center ) "A computer model of a future collapse on La Palma (click here to go to pdf of paper) by Steven Ward of the University of California at Santa Cruz and Simon Day of BHRC, indicates that this is not the case. Although wave dispersion effects do significantly modify the waves, nevertheless the results indicate that these will retain a significant proportion of their energy as they propagate outwards from the Canaries (where their initial heights are around a kilometre, in agreement with the other independent predictions by Fritz and others) towards the USA, Europe and northern Brazil. Tsunamis travel at high speeds in the deep ocean ---- as fast as passenger jet aircraft ---- and then slow down and pile up, increasing their height, as they enter shallow water. The upshot of the model is that it predicts that between 6 and 9 hours after the collapse of the Cumbre Vieja, tsunami waves with amplitudes of around 50 metres will strike the entire western seaboard of the Atlantic: these values are consistent with the size of the giant boulders and other deposits in the Bahamas, lending support to the model. Hours before the waves arrive in America, the coasts of the Canaries and of western Africa and Europe will have been swept by waves that have refracted around the submarine flanks of La Palma."
posted by troutfishing at 4:41 AM on July 22, 2004

Awesome stuff! No matter how much we marvel over the feats of modern engineering, there is absolutely nothing that can compare with mother nature when it comes to sheer magnificence.
posted by dg at 4:45 AM on July 22, 2004

posted by troutfishing at 5:22 AM on July 22, 2004

posted by troutfishing at 5:28 AM on July 22, 2004

""Suddenly I heard a shout, ‘Big wave!’ The streetlights around us exploded almost in the same instant. I looked up and saw a locally well known fishing boat coming up over the Wailoa Bridge"

-- Susan Maeda Veriato on the 1960 tsunami in Hilo, as told to her son Travis"

posted by troutfishing at 5:45 AM on July 22, 2004

Um, trout, you've kinda spammed this thread a bit, don't you think?

Anyway, great link! I learned several things I didn't know and didn't suspect. From the first article: "...two large ships sink each week on average..." That amazes me. I had no idea. True, I don't have any idea how many large ships are at sea at any one time (though I suspect the number is much higher than what I'd expect), but still.
posted by Ethereal Bligh at 6:40 AM on July 22, 2004

Rogue waves? I smell extreme surfing. Bring on the Mountain Dew!
posted by DenOfSizer at 7:23 AM on July 22, 2004

great post.
posted by tomplus2 at 8:17 AM on July 22, 2004

It's Godzilla

Deep down
Where it really counts
You know it is.

He's out looking for something that is both crunchy and chewy.
And we're all just caught up in his wake
posted by Trik at 11:18 AM on July 22, 2004

Surfing the rogue wave!
posted by hama7 at 12:53 PM on July 23, 2004

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