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New Insights in Extreme Crest Height Distributions: A Summary of the ‘CresT’ JIP

[+] Author Affiliations
Bas Buchner, Janou Hennig

MARIN, Wageningen, The Netherlands

George Forristall

Forristall Ocean Engineering, Camden, ME

Kevin Ewans

Shell, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

Marios Christou

Shell, The Hague, The Netherlands

Paper No. OMAE2011-49846, pp. 589-604; 16 pages
  • ASME 2011 30th International Conference on Ocean, Offshore and Arctic Engineering
  • Volume 2: Structures, Safety and Reliability
  • Rotterdam, The Netherlands, June 19–24, 2011
  • ISBN: 978-0-7918-4434-2
  • Copyright © 2011 by ASME


The objective of the CresT JIP was ‘to develop models for realistic extreme waves and a design methodology for the loading and response of floating platforms’. Within this objective the central question was: ‘What is the highest (most critical) wave crest that will be encountered by my platform in its lifetime?’ Based on the presented results for long and short-crested numerical, field and basin results in the paper, it can be concluded that the statistics of long-crested waves are different than those of short-crested waves. But also short-crested waves show a trend to reach crest heights above second order. This is in line with visual observations of the physics involved: crests are sharper than predicted by second order, waves are asymmetric (fronts are steeper) and waves are breaking. Although the development of extreme waves within short-crested sea states still needs further investigation (including the counteracting effect of breaking), at the end of the CresT project the following procedure for taking into account extreme waves in platform design is recommended: 1. For the wave height distribution, use the Forristall distribution (Forristall, 1978). 2. For the crest height distribution, use 2nd order distribution as basis. 3. Both the basin and field measurements show crest heights higher than predicted by second order theory for steeper sea states. It is therefore recommended to apply a correction to the second order distribution based on the basin results. 4. Account for the sampling variability at the tail of the distribution (and resulting remaining possibility of higher crests than given by the corrected second order distribution) in the reliability analysis. 5. Consider the fact that the maximum crest height under a complete platform deck can be considerably higher than the maximum crest at a single point.

Copyright © 2011 by ASME



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