Draupner wave

The Draupner wave or New Year's wave was the first rogue wave to be detected by a measuring instrument, occurring at the Draupner platform in the North Sea off the coast of Norway on 1 January 1995. In an area with significant wave height of approximately 12 metres (39 ft), a freak wave with a maximum wave height of 25.6 metres (84 ft) occurred (peak elevation above still water level[1] was 18.5 metres (61 ft)). Prior to that measurement, no instrument-recorded evidence for rogue waves existed – only anecdotal evidence provided by those who had encountered them at sea, although ships such as the British weather ship Weather Reporter had recorded very large waves that did not differ quite enough from their neighbors to be considered rogue.[2]

Close-up of the event, taken from Paul Taylor's paper[1].

Minor damage was inflicted on the platform during this event, confirming the validity of the reading made by a downward-pointing laser rangefinder.


  1. ^ a b Taylor, Paul H. (2005). "The shape of the Draupner wave of 1st January" (PDF). Department of Engineering Science. University of Oxford. Archived from the original on 10 August 2007. Retrieved 20 January 2007.CS1 maint: unfit url (link)
  2. ^ Draper, L. (July 1964). ""Freak" ocean waves" (PDF). Oceanus. X (4).

Further readingEdit