Navigation Links
VC predicts the motion of the ocean

ANU Vice-Chancellor, Professor Ian Young AO, has just published research that will help you every morning with the surf report.

Research led by the Vice-Chancellor will allow oceanographers and meteorologists to better predict the rate at which ocean swells decay, or deteriorate, as they travel across the globe.

"Ocean cargo shipping, offshore oil and gas production, and even recreational activities such as surfing, are all dependent on wave action," says Professor Young.

"It is therefore critical that we are able to predict swell."

It is estimated that 75 per cent of waves across the world are not actually generated by local winds. Instead, they are driven by distant storms which propagate as swell.

"Imagine you drop a rock in a pond. Waves radiate out from the rock. You don't need anything to push the waves. Once generated, they propagate by themselves.

"So, for most of the Indian, Pacific and South Atlantic oceans, it is actually the weather in the Southern Ocean thousands of kilometres away that dominates the wave conditions," explains Professor Young.

"The Southern Ocean is dominated by big low pressure systems that move across it year round. These systems generate waves that then grow and can travel tens of thousands of kilometres from where they were actually formed, to crash on a beach in Australia."

Professor Young, who is affiliated with the Research School of Earth Sciences, used orbiting satellites to track swell generated in the Southern Ocean and measure the rate of decay as it travelled north towards Australia.

The results showed that the decay of the swell depends on how steep the wave actually is.

"Steep waves decay very quickly. However, typical swell is not very steep and can travel across oceanic basins with only a relatively small loss of energy."

Over 200 individual cases were tracked, making this study the first to provide such comprehensive data of this decay.

"What we were able to do is track the swell from the satellite as it moved from the south to the north, some 1400 kilometres. We only chose cases where there was no wind so that we could be confident that all we were measuring was the swell decay.

"We can take these results and put them into a mathematical formula that can be put straight into computer models used by national weather bureaus.

"This will increase our ability to better predict wave action. As 70 per cent of the world's oceans are dominated by swell, it's extremely important to be able to predict them accurately."


Contact: ANU Media Hotline
Australian National University

Related biology news :

1. Computer model predicts red blood cell flow
2. UT Arlington engineer to design prototype that predicts flash flooding
3. New study predicts rising irrigation costs, reduced yields for US corn
4. Cleveland Clinic research shows gut bacteria byproduct predicts heart attack and stroke
5. APL novel method accurately predicts disease outbreaks
6. Imaging biomarker predicts response to rapid antidepressant
7. University of Tennessee study predicts extreme climate in Eastern US
8. New research predicts rising trend in Indias Violent Land Conflicts; 130 districts struggle
9. Disaster map predicts bleak future for mammals
10. Outside a vacuum: Model predicts movement of charged particles in complex media
11. Genetic test predicts risk for Autism
Post Your Comments:
(Date:11/11/2015)... Minn. , Nov. 11, 2015   MedNet Solutions ... entire spectrum of clinical research, is pleased to announce that ... in Clinical Trials (PCT) event, to be held November ... be able to view live demonstrations of iMedNet ... and learn how iMedNet has been able to ...
(Date:11/4/2015)... November 4, 2015 --> ... report published by Transparency Market Research "Home Security Solutions Market ... Forecast 2015 - 2022", the global home security solutions market is ... by 2022. The market is estimated to expand at ... 2015 to 2022. Rising security needs among customers at ...
(Date:10/29/2015)... Oct. 29, 2015  Rubicon Genomics, Inc., today ... distribution of its DNA library preparation products, including ... new ThruPLEX Plasma-seq kit. ThruPLEX Plasma-seq has been ... of NGS libraries for liquid biopsies--the analysis of ... prognostic applications in cancer and other conditions. Eurofins ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:11/24/2015)... ... November 24, 2015 , ... Copper ... unless it is bound to proteins, copper is also toxic to cells. With ... Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI) will conduct a systematic study of copper in the ...
(Date:11/24/2015)... 24, 2015 --> ... report "Oligonucleotide Synthesis Market by Product & Services (Primer, ... Diagnostic, DNA, RNAi), End-User (Research, Pharmaceutical & Biotech, Diagnostic ... the market is expected to reach USD 1,918.6 Million ... a CAGR of 10.1% during the forecast period. ...
(Date:11/24/2015)... New York , November 24, 2015 ... to a recent market research report released by Transparency ... projected to expand at a CAGR of 17.5% during ... "Non-invasive Prenatal Testing Market - Global Industry Analysis, Size, ... estimates the global non-invasive prenatal testing market to reach ...
(Date:11/24/2015)... ... November 24, 2015 , ... In harsh ... Insertion points for in-line sensors can represent a weak spot where leaking process ... series of retractable sensor housings , which are designed to tolerate extreme process ...
Breaking Biology Technology: