Tuesday, 13 May 2008, 12:00AM

Giant Waves on the Open Sea: Mariners’ tall tales or alarming fact?

Professor Paul H Taylor

Cinemagoers will be familiar with the thrill of giant waves. But what most people don't know is that the film The Poseidon Adventure is based on an incident involving the Queen Mary in WWII. The famous liner was hit by a giant 'wall of water' while she was carrying 15,000 American troops to Britain in 1942. The ship listed to an astonishing 52 degrees and almos capsized. More recently, The Perfect Storm will be familiar to most, providing an account of the sinking of the Andrea Gail south of Newfoundland in 1991.
Such giant waves are rare, and seldom recorded by reliable oceanograophic instruments. However, on 1 January 1995 a sensor on a platform in the central North Sea recorded a giant 60ft high wave crest, so 'freak' waves are not just tall tails. Giant waves can have disastrious consequences even for the largest ships and offshore structures.
Such waves are thought to be very rare but just how rare? What physics drives such waves? Is a 'wall of water' plausible? How hould engineers design structures to survive rare but potentially catastrophic events?

Transcript

13 May 2008

Giant Waves on the Open Sea: Mariners’ tall tales or alarming fact?
Professor Paul H Taylor

View PDF
Print
Related Future Lectures
Related Past Lectures
WATCHED
Part of a series

Maths is Coded in Your Genes

Professor Chris Budd OBE
Tuesday, 9 January 2018 - 1:00PM
WATCHED

The eXcrement Factor: The Natural History of Dung

Professor George McGavin
Tuesday, 16 January 2018 - 6:00PM
WATCHED
Part of a series

The Clockwork God: Isaac Newton and the Mechanical Universe

Professor Alister McGrath
Tuesday, 23 January 2018 - 1:00PM
WATCHED

Here Comes The Sun: Sunshine and its Effects on Health, Sleep and Memory

Professor Steve Jones
Wednesday, 24 January 2018 - 6:00PM
WATCHED
Part of a series

The High Energy Universe

Professor Joseph Silk FRS
Wednesday, 31 January 2018 - 1:00PM
WATCHED

How Energy Flow Shapes the Evolution of Life

Professor Nick Lane
Tuesday, 6 February 2018 - 6:00PM
WATCHED
Part of a series

How Special Is Our Universe?

Professor Joseph Silk FRS
Wednesday, 6 December 2017 - 1:00PM
WATCHED
Part of a series

Half a Century of Heart Transplantation

Professor Martin Elliott
Wednesday, 29 November 2017 - 6:00PM
WATCHED
Part of a series

Watching the Heavens: Astronomy and the Meaning of Life

Professor Alister McGrath
Tuesday, 21 November 2017 - 1:00PM
WATCHED
Part of a series

Maths Goes Into Space

Professor Chris Budd OBE
Tuesday, 14 November 2017 - 1:00PM
WATCHED
Part of a series

Organic Food: Rooted in Lies?

Professor Carolyn Roberts
Thursday, 9 November 2017 - 6:00PM
WATCHED
Part of a series
Part of a conference

Pi and e and the the most beautiful theorem in mathematics

Professor Robin Wilson
Wednesday, 25 October 2017 - 6:00PM
WATCHED

What is it about Cocaine that makes it addictive?

Dr William Harrop-Griffiths
Monday, 6 February 2017 - 1:55PM
WATCHED

The Role of Collaboration in Nature and its Link to Success

Professor Steve Jones
Tuesday, 31 January 2017 - 6:59PM
WATCHED

The Offspring of Semi-Female Mimics in Ruffs

Professor Steve Jones
Tuesday, 31 January 2017 - 6:58PM
WATCHED

What Is The Advantage To The Flowers That Are 'Orchid-Mimics'?

Professor Steve Jones
Tuesday, 31 January 2017 - 6:56PM
WATCHED

An Interesting Fact About Female Swordtail Fish

Professor Steve Jones
Tuesday, 31 January 2017 - 6:55PM
WATCHED

The Sideways Motion of a Ponytail

Professor Raymond E. Goldstein
Wednesday, 9 November 2016 - 6:58PM