Friday, August 12, 2005

Giant Waves Found in the Earth's Oceans

"Last year's Hurricane Ivan generated an ocean wave that towered higher than 90 feet at one point, says a study that also suggests such giants may be more common than once thought.

"Research indicates these are not 'rogue waves but actually fairly common during hurricanes,' said David Wang of the Naval Research Laboratory at Stennis Space Center, Miss.

"The giant wave was detected 75 miles south of Gulfport, Miss., by instruments on the ocean floor that measure the pressure of water above them. Using those readings, scientists can calculate the height of waves from trough to crest." ...

"The giant wave did not reach land. Unlike a tsunami, which reaches down to the sea floor, this was a wind wave, generated on the ocean surface by the powerful forces of the storm."

"'In 1969, Hurricane Camille produced a 44-foot wave by an oil rig near the storm's center,' he said. 'Only two other buoy reports exceed the 52-foot mark set by Ivan, both of which occurred in the North Pacific where winter storms are larger than hurricanes,' Wang said."

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