Wave Height Distribution Observed by Ships in the North Atlantic

Anders Smærup Olsen, Carsten Schrøter, Jørgen Juncher Jensen

    Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review


    The analysis of almost 25000 observation of the wave height from ships in the North Atlantic shows that the encountered wave height distribution is significantly lower than the distribution provided by the classification societies for structural assessment. The joint probability distribution for the significant wave height, the relative speed and the ship heading relative to the wave direction is given. This distribution shows that for higher waves the crews avoid sailing in following sea and as expected the speed is decreased in higher waves. There is, however, still a relatively high probability that the ship will maintain the service speed even in relatively severe sea. The distribution derived could be used to incorporate the effect of weather routing in a long term analysis of the wave loads on a ship.
    Original languageEnglish
    JournalShips and Offshore Structures
    Issue number1
    Pages (from-to)1-12
    Publication statusPublished - 2005


    • wave height observations
    • Weather routing
    • encountered wave height distribution


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