Extreme wave indexes estimate the occurrence of extreme wave events in coastal and oceanic waters. Extreme wave indexes estimate the number of times a significant wave height exceeds one of three threshold values for at least 12 hours in 24 marine regions. The three wave-height thresholds are four metres, six metres, and eight metres.
This indicator estimates the exceedances of wave-height thresholds for each year from 2008 to 2015 in coastal areas.
Significant wave height is a measure of the ‘typical’ wave height in a place over a time period. It is four times the standard deviation of the water surface if, for example, you were to measure water moving up and down a jetty piling for an hour. The largest individual wave will typically have a height around twice the significant wave height.
We use three wave-height thresholds because of the regional variation in extreme wave events. In general, the north experiences less exposure to consistently strong winds, and the waves generated by them, than the south. Four-metre tall waves are considered extreme in the northern-most parts of New Zealand but are more common in the south. For the southern-most parts of New Zealand, eight-metre waves better represent extreme wave events.
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Imported on Oct. 19, 2016