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Rogue waves

Project Description

Project Rationale:
Rogue waves are ocean surface gravity waves whose waveheights are much larger than that expected given the background wave conditions (e.g. the first instrumentally recorded rogue wave was 25.6m in a background wavefield of ~12m significant waveheight). They commonly appear unexpectedly and can cause significant damage to ships and offshore installations. Recent research using an extensive data set of measurements from wave buoys (of around 1 billion waves) has shown that the probability of rogue waves occurring cannot be predicted from basic information on background wave conditions (Cattrell et al., 2018). More detailed examination of a subset of the buoy data, that spanned more than 10 years of observations, has revealed that rogue wave conditions can vary seasonally and spatially, also changing over the long-term (Cattrell et al., 2019). Unresolved questions from these studies are: how the directional properties of the rogue waves vary i.e. is there a preferred direction from which they appear at a given location? How is rogue wave occurrence related to the directional properties of the background wavefield and ocean surface currents? Can knowledge of these directional properties and background conditions help in determining the probability of occurrence of the rogue waves?

Funding Notes

You can apply for fully-funded studentships (stipend and fees) from INSPIRE if you:
Are a UK or EU national.
Have no restrictions on how long you can stay in the UK.
Have been 'ordinarily resident' in the UK for 3 years prior to the start of the project.

Please click View Website for more information on eligibilty and how to apply


Cattrell A.D., Srokosz M., Moat B.I. & Marsh R. 2018 Can rogue waves be predicted using characteristic wave parameters? J. Geophys. Res., 123, 5624–5636, doi: 10.1029/2018JC013958
Cattrell A.D., Srokosz M., Moat B.I. & Marsh R. 2019 Seasonal intensification and trends of rogue wave events on the US western seaboard, Nature Scientific Reports, 9:4461, doi:10.1038/s41598-019-41099-z
Dysthe, K., Krogstad, H. E. & Müller, P. 2008 Oceanic Rogue Waves. Annual Review of Fluid Mechanics 40, 287-310

Related Subjects

How good is research at University of Southampton in Earth Systems and Environmental Sciences?

FTE Category A staff submitted: 68.62

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