Last week we have seen a lot of reports in media about the phenomenal sea state off the west coast of Ireland. An example is The Skipper (a journal of the Irish & UK Fishing Industries) releasing an article claiming a recorded monster wave of 30 meters. RTE had a few articles, where excited surfers mention 18 meter waves. Met Eireann and the Marine Institute M6 buoy recorded a maximum individual wave height of 21.7 meters between 27 and 28 October, with significant wave height being 15.7 meters. These were the remnants of hurricane Epsilon, that brought the extreme waves to the Irish coasts. These values are phenomenal indeed.

These reports bring us to the long standing discussion on quality control of the data. Can we trust a single instrument measuring the wave height?


Having joined the HIGHWAVE project as a post-doc in October 2019 I unfortunately missed the group field trip that year. Therefore, two weeks ago, on Thursday 20th August, I took my first drive to Connemara and met Arnaud, the project engineer, at the basecamp just outside Rossaveel. We spoke about the coming two days and what we had planned. We planned to spend the rest of Thursday on the mainland and Friday on Inis Meáin.

IMG 20200716 120404 PANO

As part of my PhD training, I had the opportunity to visit the Basecamp,  located in the west coast of Ireland. The main goal of this visit was to get familiar with the key places where we plan to deploy sensors and instruments to measure breaking waves and their impact on cliffs. The visit also allowed me to be introduced to the new terms and concepts regarding wireless communication, an essential part of the HIGHWAVE project.

The PhD thesis completed in 2019 by James Steer, a post-doctoral research fellow in HIGHWAVE, has been selected by the UK Fluids Network (UKFN) to receive their annual thesis prize. The UKFN is an Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council funded network of academic and industrial research groups in the UK. After votes from the judges were tallied, the scores of James and two others were tied, meaning each will receive the £200 prize. The entire HIGHWAVE team extend their congratualtion to James and are delighted that he has been recognised for his work. A summary of James' work can be found on the HIGHWAVE website, here, and his thesis can be found in The University of Edinburgh archive, here. The award was been announced by the UKFN on their website and by his alma mater, The University of Edinburgh

My Chinese colleagues from Shanghai Jiao Tong University performed nice experiments to study the interaction between a solitary wave and a finite horizontal plate submerged at a depth equal to 1/4 of the water depth. The spatial and temporal variation of the three-dimensional (3D) surface deformation were measured using a multi-lens stereo reconstruction system. The hydrodynamic loads were measured by underwater load cells. The plate-induced shoaling causes 3D wave focusing, leading to an increased maximum elevation along the streamwise centerline of the plate. The detailed wave focusing process and the influence of wave amplitude on focusing are presented in a paper that just came out in Physics of Fluids ( A 6-stage loading process based on the maxima of vertical wave force and pitching moment is proposed. It is coupled with the synchronous surface deformation to reveal the loading mechanism. It proves that the vertical wave force on the plate reduces compared with the results from 2D experiments. The surface elevation and wave-induced load data provide an excellent benchmark for further studies on the 3D nonlinear interaction between a solitary wave and a submerged plate.

HIGHWAVE involves a lot of numerical simulations of nonlinear water waves. HIGHWAVE was successful with its PRACE DECI 16 application. The project has been given 3M core-hours. It will start in the summer of 2020 and will last for one year. 

HIGHWAVE involves a lot of numerical simulations, dealing in particular with extreme sea states and using nonlinear wave propagation models. ICHEC, the Irish Centre for High-End Computing, provides core-hours to three kinds of projects. Class A projects are intended for consortia concerned with high impact problems. Prof. Dias was successful with his Class A application. The project has been given 5M core-hours. It will start on 1 June 2020 and will last for a couple of years. 

Prof. Dias will co-chair the European Fluid Mechanics and Turbulence Conference (EFMTC2021) at ETH Zurich from June 20-24, 2021.

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic the EUROMECH council decided to combine the 13th European Fluid Mechanics Conference (EFMC13) and the 18th European Turbulence Conference (ETC18). ETC18 was originally supposed to take place in Dublin in August 2021.


Marine Forecasts blog articles are community restricted articles, aimed to researchers, students, lecturers but also the community of the Aran Islands.