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Analysis and catalogue of sneaker waves in the US Pacific Northwest between 2005 and 2017

Gabriel García-Medina (), H. Tuba Özkan-Haller, Peter Ruggiero, Rob A. Holman and Troy Nicolini
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Gabriel García-Medina: Oregon State University
H. Tuba Özkan-Haller: Oregon State University
Peter Ruggiero: Oregon State University
Rob A. Holman: Oregon State University
Troy Nicolini: National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration

Natural Hazards: Journal of the International Society for the Prevention and Mitigation of Natural Hazards, 2018, vol. 94, issue 2, 583-603

Abstract: Abstract Sneaker waves are responsible for many casualties and beach rescues in the Pacific Northwest (PNW) region of the USA. In this paper, a catalogue of these events from 2005 to mid-2017 in Oregon and Northern California is presented. The events are grouped depending on the local characteristics into those involving structures, semi-enclosed beaches, and open-coast beaches. It was found that sneaker waves occurred between the months of October and April, which is also the time of the year of most storm activity in the PNW. The majority of the events are associated with long-period swell approaching the coast. Beach slope and significant wave height were not found to correlate with sneaker wave incidents. However, total water level analysis reveals that the run-up level was expected to reach the beachgoers for the majority of the investigated cases indicating that a forecasting system to warn beachgoers is possible.

Keywords: Run-up; Sneaker waves; Beach safety; Oregon; California (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2018
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