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Wave Distributions and Sampling Variability

[+] Author Affiliations
O̸istein Hagen

Det Norske Veritas, Ho̸vik, Norway

Paper No. OMAE2007-29584, pp. 393-401; 9 pages
  • ASME 2007 26th International Conference on Offshore Mechanics and Arctic Engineering
  • Volume 2: Structures, Safety and Reliability; Petroleum Technology Symposium
  • San Diego, California, USA, June 10–15, 2007
  • Conference Sponsors: Ocean, Offshore and Arctic Engineering Division
  • ISBN: 0-7918-4268-1 | eISBN: 0-7918-3799-8
  • Copyright © 2007 by ASME


The paper describes the effect of sampling variability on the predicted extreme individual wave height and the predicted extreme individual crests height for long return periods, such as for the 100-year maximum wave height and 100-year maximum crest height. We show that the effect of sampling variability is different for individual crest or wave height as compared to for significant wave height. The short term wave statistics is modeled by the Forristall crest height distribution and the Forristall wave height distribution [3,4]. Samples from the 3-hour Weibull distribution are simulated for 100.000 years period, and the 100-year extreme values for wave heights and crest heights determined for respectively 20 minute and 3 hour sea states. The simulations are compared to results obtained by probabilistic analysis. The paper shows that state of the art analysis approaches using the Forristall distributions give about unbiased estimates for extreme individual crest or wave height if implemented appropriately. Direct application of the Forristall distributions for 3-hour sea state parameters give long term extremes that are biased low, and it is shown how the short term distributions can be modified such that consistent results for 20 minute and 3 hour sea states are obtained. These modified distributions are expected applicable for predictions based on hindcast sea state statistics and for the environmental contour approach.

Copyright © 2007 by ASME



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