Tag Archives: Waves

Residual Wave Action in California

Anthony Canova A handful of California marinas, specifically any marinas north of Los Angeles, had the potential to see small wave action during the first week of April because of the 8.2-earthquake and following tsunami off the coast of Chile on Tuesday, April 1. In the Chilean port city of Iquique, observed tsunami heights reached approximately seven feet. People living along the country’s Pacific Coast were ordered to evacuate, but officials lifted the tsunami warning by early Wednesday, local time.

The first waves to strike California are said to have hit La Jolla around 4 a.m. From there, the residual effects from the South America earthquake were said to have travelled north and became noticeable in the Santa Barbara harbor early on Wednesday, April 2.

An Oxnard correspondent with the National Weather Service reported the activity consisted of “one-foot tide fluctuations,” which did not have the ability to damage boats in the harbor. The meteorologist also reported three-to-four knot fluctuations in water currents as well as swirling water in Ventura Harbor. Unlike the one-foot tide fluctuations, the three-to-four knot fluctuations had the potential to upset boats returning to a dock or harbor, causing sudden jolts that could damage vessels by suddenly slamming boats into the dock. However, there were no alarming reports of surging or damage at the time.

San Luis Obispo County had the potential to see the largest fluctuations in wave height, with waves reaching up to 20 centimeters above the normal wave height for the area. Wave action was predicted to continue for an extended period of time, with the possibility of a full day of “wave action” in some areas. Wave action as residual after effect of a far off earthquake is not uncommon and, therefore, because there was not any unusual damage reported, did not alarm the professionals monitoring the California coast.

For more information about the wave action from the Chilean earthquake on the California coast, please visit http://www.latimes.com/local/lanow/la-me-ln-wave-chile-earthquake-california-coast-20140402,0,2635028.story#axzz2ytejszVx.

Biggest swells in years hits north shore of Hawaii

According to a recent article, a storm off the cost of Hawaii is brewing up some of the biggest surf the island hasn’t seen in decades. The wave heights are reaching anywhere from 40 to 50 feet. Imagine dropping in on something that big? Only some of the most experienced surfers would dare to try and ride a wave of that magnitude.

A high surf warning was declared until 6am Saturday on the Big Island. Some beaches were even closed all together. At Waimea Bay, Ocean Safety lifeguards closed the beach because water was overflowing into the parking lot and upending trees. The waves are generating such a strong force that they can’t be held back by the beach banks.

According to Melvin Kaku, Director of the Department of Emergency Management, “The National Weather Service has told us that this is a once in a ten-year period high surf event. What increases the hazard is the forecasted wave heights in combination with the long duration these swells will be impacting our shorelines. The long duration means that ocean waters will pile up in the surf zone allowing the larger waves to impact further into beach areas. This battering effect can cause increased shoreline erosion and damage to homes and infrastructure as well as blocking coastal highways with sand, debris and water.”

Hawaii is prone to big wave surf due to its location in the ocean. It’s amazing that they haven’t experienced something like this in a number of years. Some places on Hawaii’s Big Island regular average over 10 foot waves. Imagine those waves at 30 and 40 feet! It’s astounding! I’ll be interested to see if any surfing footage comes out of this once in a decade event. You figure there’s definitely a lot of interest among surfers. Will anyone make the plunge?