ANN ARBOR, Mich., Oct. 2 (UPI) -- Everyone knows big waves in fierce storms are dangerous, but now U.S. scientists are discovering smaller waves might be just as threatening.
University of Michigan researchers have developed a computer program and method of analysis that makes it easier to understand how a series of smaller waves -- a situation much more likely to occur than the development of monster waves -- might be just as dangerous.
"Like the Edmund Fitzgerald that sank (on Lake Superior) in 1975, many of the casualties that happen occur in circumstances that aren't completely understood, and therefore they are difficult to design for," Professor Armin Troesch said. "This analysis method and program gives ship designers a clearer picture of what they're up against."
Troesch and doctoral candidate Laura Alford presented their findings Tuesday in Houston during the International Symposium on Practical Design of Ships and Other Floating Structures, also known as PRADS 2007.