6/20 Freaky Friday
Buenos Dias! I am back at Qualitas after working 2 days at Puertos del Estado. I enjoyed my time working with Marta on the freak wave data. I wrote a script that should (key word: should!) be able to print out a graphic of each freak wave, and a zoomed in version of the same graph, so i can look them all over and try to classify each wave. I was assigned 4 locations to look at. Here they are...
I think i am finally getting a little better grasp on using this blog page. At least this map looks readable.
As it is easy to see each site is in a rather unique location. Each site receives swell/wave action from a different direction. Here are some facts i find interesting when looking at these sites. Villano-Sisargas receives swell from the North West. This area gets crushed by the constant storms that are coming across the Atlantic. At this buoy site the water depth is 386 m. Pretty deep. So the waves are not going to be affected by the bottom contours very much (compared to water depth at maybe 10-20 m). Off our coast, the waters are very shallow. I know from experience that going out about 10-20 miles off our shore the water is no deeper than about 60 feet. Using the ever so convenient google earth ruler tool, i measured that this buoy is about 18.5 miles from the coast. What a sharp drop off! It is totally different than what we have. For this reason it is very easy for the Spaniards to drop off buoys, relatively close to shore and be situated in very deep waters. The depths of the the sites Tarragona, Cadiz and Gran Canaria are respectively, 688m, 450m and 780m. And they receive swell from respectively the East/South-East, South-West, North. From here i will attempt to draw some conclusions on what season, if any, are freak waves most common, if they occur most often from a certain direction swell, if they occur most often when there are strong currents nearby, etc.
Here is an example of a particularly interesting graph i made....
I guess it is hard to read, i don't know why... but if you can kind of make out the large blue peak that occurs near 40 seconds, there is a freak wave. In this case the HS (significant wave height) is 4.92m. the HZ (Freak wave height) is 10.2 m. That is a pretty large wave. And it pretty much jumps out of nowhere. This graph shows that this was just 1 wave (compared to other styles of freak waves: Tres Hermanas, etc). So far this is the largest one i have found. But any size freak wave can be dangerous. Since they are about double the significant wave height, it could easily catch any boat off guard and really cause some problems. Think about if you are in a relatively small fishing boat, about 40-50 feet long and the seas are about 6 feet. First of all it wouldn't be that comfortable and i would rather be on land. But then imagine some random wave comes along at a whopping 12 feet and smacks you around. It could be pretty bad situation. Like i said, i would rather be on land in those conditions.
Pretty cool, huh? I think i am going to meet with Marta every other week or so so we can continue to go over the data, share results, and maybe work on some statistics (yikes).
Portugal lost last night to Germany. It was a pretty entertaining game. Bruno, my Portuguese house mate, was noticeably upset. Spain however has won 3 in a row and now is in the second round. Everyone here says that Spain always chokes in the second round. Well see. They play Italy on Sunday. Big game. Hopefully they go far. I want to see this place go crazy.
Back to the glider for a second. GREAT JOB everyone. 2000km is a long way. It must be very hard not having good satellite imagery. I am very impressed with the ingenuity in steering the glider. I talked with josh yesterday about it for a few minutes. He said you were looking at the sbd temperature data and trying to find non stratified warm water. Very smart. Stay in the red guys!
I'm about done here. Have a good weekend and root for Spain to win on Sunday. Dont worry, if you miss the game ill fill you in on monday. Later!--Evan