Classroom 10, Alrick Building, King's Buildings
Waves and large-scale geophysics in the North Atlantic: long-term variability and the implication for wave power and extremes
Ocean waves are random on all time-scales; from one wave to the next, from one storm to the next, over seasons and decades and perhaps over centuries. Given this variability, does the idea of a wave climate mean anything?
But engineers need to estimate extreme wave heights for design; perhaps at the 1 in 100 or 1 in 1000 year level. Yet, if the wave climate is so changeable, how does the 1 in 100 year wave estimate for the next year compare to that for the next decade? And what are the implications for wave power as a worthwhile and economic source of renewable energy if the resource varies dramatically year on year?
Recent research in Oxford has shown that, out in the open North Atlantic, both the mean wave field and the extreme waves are strongly correlated to the North Atlantic Oscillation and the next two higher atmospheric patterns. These atmospheric modes are measure of the mean pressure gradients in winter and are related to the position and strength of the jet-stream. The jet-stream then affects the strength and motion of the winter depressions, and consequently the sea-surface winds and the waves. Given re-constructed information on the atmospheric modes, we re-create wave statistics over the last 350 years.
Professor Paul H Taylor biography
Paul Taylor has worked in Oxford for almost 20 years on a wide range of offshore and coastal engineering topics, including the dynamics and statistics of waves and a wide range of wave-structure interaction problems.
There will be a host of hot beverages, sandwiches and cakes available from 12:45pm. We look forward to welcoming you all to the Seminar.