Friday, August 05, 2005

Hurricane caused 'tallest wave'

Hurricane Ivan generated a wave more than 90 feet (27 metres) high - thought to be the tallest and most intense ever measured - scientists have revealed.

It would have dwarfed a 10-storey building and had the power to snap a ship in half - but never reached land.

The wave was recorded by sensors on the ocean floor as Hurricane Ivan passed over the Gulf of Mexico last September.

The observations suggest prior estimates for extreme waves are too low, researchers warn in Science.

Hurricane Ivan caused more than 100 deaths and left a trail of devastation as it swept over several Caribbean islands and part of the United States.

[...]

The waves were bigger than expected, suggesting theoretical models of waves whipped up by hurricanes may have to be revised.

"Our results suggest that waves in excess of 90 ft are not rogue waves but actually are fairly common during hurricanes," lead author Dr David Wang, told the BBC News website.

BBC

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