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A Recommended Approach for Deriving ISO-Compliant 10,000 Year Extreme Water Levels in the North Sea

[+] Author Affiliations
Ian M. Leggett, Rizwan Sheikh

Shell Exploration and Production - Europe, Aberdeen, UK

Nigel F. Bellamy, Joseph P. Fox

PhysE Ltd., Yarmouth, UK

Paper No. OMAE2007-29559, pp. 731-737; 7 pages
  • ASME 2007 26th International Conference on Offshore Mechanics and Arctic Engineering
  • Volume 4: Materials Technology; Ocean Engineering
  • San Diego, California, USA, June 10–15, 2007
  • Conference Sponsors: Ocean, Offshore and Arctic Engineering Division
  • ISBN: 0-7918-4270-3 | eISBN: 0-7918-3799-8
  • Copyright © 2007 by ASME


Extreme water level is a key parameter in the design and safe operation of offshore installations. It is defined as a combination of three components; wave crest, tidal elevation and surge height. Historically, extreme water levels have been derived through the direct superposition of crest heights calculated empirically from sea states of 100 year return period, a surge component of the same return period and a Mean High Water Spring tidal level. This approach is limited for two reasons; firstly due to a simplifying assumption to calculate an individual wave crest elevation and secondly no account is taken of the joint probability of occurrence between the three components. As a result of significantly greater temporal and spatial resolution in acquired oceanographic data together with advances in computing and recent developments in formulating short-term statistics potential shortcomings in the traditional approach have been recognised. This is addressed in the new ISO 19901-1 standard, which specifies that wave crest elevations should be derived by the convolution of both long and short-term wave distributions. This paper compares and contrasts three methods for deriving ISO-compliant extreme wave crest heights and proposes a new joint probability approach for the addition of tide and surge elevations.

Copyright © 2007 by ASME
Topics: Water , North Sea



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