Swell waves on the Norwegian continental shelf

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The continental shelf along the western and northern coast of Norway is exposed to long period swell from the North Atlantic through the windows between Iceland-Faeroe Islands-Shetland. The swell is generated by intense extratropical cyclones which frequently originates east of Newfoundland and move rapidly in northeasterly direction.

Wave records from the Norwegian coast, during severe swell events, show typical narrow-peaked swell spectra with considerable energy at period 20-25 s and a maximum significant wave height up to 4-5 m.

Long periodic swell with period 15-25 s may cause large heave motion of semi-semersible drilling rigs and interfer with offshore operations.

As part of the ANODA research project, funded by oil companies, wave records of swell events were analysed and a numerical model for prediction of spectral characteristic during swell events was developed.


B. Gjevik, H. Krogstad and A. Lygre, (1984) ``Ocean swells on the Norwegian continental shelf", Report 6201/1/84, Continental Shelf Institute, Trondheim, Norway.

B. Gjevik and O. Rygg, (1986) ``The ANODA swell model. Theory and model simulations". ANODA report. Oceanographic center, Trondheim, Norway.

B. Gjevik, H. Krogstad, A. Lygre and O. Rygg, (1988) ``Long period swell wave events on the Norwegian shelf". J. Phys. Oceanogr. 18, 724--737.

author: Bjøslash;rn Gjevik <bjorng@math.uio.no>