The characterisation of South African sea storms

MacHutchon, K. R. (2006-12)

Thesis (MScEng (Civil Engineering))--University of Stellenbosch, 2006.


This research provides and overview of sea storms around the South African Coast in terms of weather types, characteristic wave statistics, storm processes and wave energy. Sea Storm Profiles are unique to the particular storm events causing them, but they can be associated with Equivalent Wave Energy (EWE) Storm Profiles, which are representative of them and have a linear, symmetric, “Capital Lambda” ( Λ ), shape. The actual storm profile and the EWE Profile are equivalent in wave energy, and the benefit of the EWE is that it is regular and can be can be readily compared with another EWE Storm Profile for analysis, and for the comparison of impacts. The ability to compare the impacts of Sea Storms from different areas, on the basis of characteristic Equivalent Wave Energy (EWE) Storm Profiles within the South African Coastal Regions, is considered to be advantageous. This will allow Engineers to apply the knowledge gained in one area to another with a similar EWE Storm Profile, with more confidence. There will always be the need for site-specific investigations, data recording, data analysis and interpretations in Coastal Engineering Work, but one needs to start with an understanding of the general nature of the coastal region in which one is working. This research adds to the background “Body of Knowledge” relating to the character of the sea storms in the Regions around South Africa. The study is based on a literature survey of atmospheric weather, sea wave theory and wave climates, as well as the analysis of weather and sea state data at selected recording stations around the South African Coastline.

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