Freak wave events in 2005–2021: statistics and analysis of favourable wave and wind conditions
Freak or rogue waves are unexpectedly and abnormally large waves in seas and oceans, which can cause loss of human lives and damage to ships, oil platforms, and coastal structures. Evidence of such waves is widely spread around the globe. The present paper is devoted to analysis of the unified collection of freak wave events from different chronicles and catalogues from 2005 to 2021. The considered rogue waves are not measured in situ data, but their descriptions, which have been found in mass media sources and scientific articles, are the data used. All of them resulted in damage to ships or coastal/offshore structures and/or human losses. The collection accounts for 429 events. First, the analysis based on their characteristics taken from the descriptions of the events (including locations, water depth, damages) is carried out. Second, the analysis of wave parameters taken from the climate reanalysis ERA5 is performed. Thus, the most probable background wave parameters at the time of the freak event (including wind speed, gusts, significant wave height, maximum wave height, peak wave period, skewness, excess kurtosis, Benjamin–Feir instability (BFI), and wave spectral directional width) for each freak wave event are determined.