Were extreme waves in the Rockall Trough the largest ever recorded?

Holliday, N.P. ORCID:; Yelland, M.Y.; Pascal, R.; Swail, V.; Taylor, P.K.; Griffiths, C.R.; Kent, E.C. ORCID: 2006 Were extreme waves in the Rockall Trough the largest ever recorded? Geophysical Research Letters, 33 (5). L05613.

Before downloading, please read NORA policies.
grl21047.pdf - Published Version

Download (460kB) | Preview


In February 2000 those onboard a British oceanographic research vessel near Rockall, west of Scotland experienced the largest waves ever recorded by scientific instruments in the open ocean. Under severe gale force conditions with wind speeds averaging 21 ms−1 a shipborne wave recorder measured individual waves up to 29.1 m from crest to trough, and a maximum significant wave height of 18.5 m. The fully formed sea developed in unusual conditions as westerly winds blew across the North Atlantic for two days, during which time a frontal system propagated at a speed close to the group velocity of the peak waves. The measurements are compared to a wave hindcast (AES40, Swail and Cox, 2000) which successfully simulated the arrival of the wave group but underestimated the most extreme waves.

Item Type: Publication - Article
Digital Object Identifier (DOI):
ISSN: 0094-8276
Additional Keywords: extreme waves, windspeed, storm, wave hindcast
Date made live: 31 Aug 2006 +0 (UTC)

Actions (login required)

View Item View Item

Document Downloads

Downloads for past 30 days

Downloads per month over past year

More statistics for this item...