News and Colloquium

December 3rd, 2018

Colloquium this week by Christian M. Appendini - "Extreme ocean waves in the Gulf of Mexico and climate change: hurricanes and cold surge intrusions"


Photo by Harald Edens
  Photo by Dr. Edens
  • The New Mexico Tech Physics Department has been ranked 39th by College Factual out of 263 schools for Physics! Read more about it here.
  • Holiday Party at Sofias - Wed, Dec 5. Contact Alta to RSVP 





Dr. Christian M. Appendini

Engineering Institute from the National Autonomous University of Mexico in Yucatan

"Extreme ocean waves in the Gulf of Mexico and climate change: hurricanes and cold surge intrusions"


Extreme waves in the Gulf of Mexico are a result of tropical cyclones and anticyclone systems known as Nortes. Waves derived from tropical cyclones have devastating consequences but a low occurrence, while Nortes are frequent during autumn/winter and generate waves that disrupts maritime activities. While current planning of maritime operations and the design of structures is based on historical data, global warming will likely affect such conditions during the coming years and into the 22nd century. This work analyzes the waves derived from tropical cyclones based on synthetic events to overcome the limitations imposed by short historical records and the low frequency of tropical cyclones and underestimation of maximum wind speeds in General Circulation Models. The effect of climate change implications on the design of structures is illustrated by the 100 years return period considering the present and the future climates. For the Norte derived waves a method to identify events is presented, as well as a classification of events based on wave power. The assessement of the effect of climate change over the Norte derived waves is done by evaluating the change of frequency for the different types of Nortes. In conclusion, the study shows that the extreme wave climate in the Gulf of Mexico due to the effect of global warming is expected to be characterized by an intensification of the waves generated by tropical cyclones, a lower occurrence of intense events generated by Nortes, and an increased occurrence of mild Norte events. As such, the design of maritime structures should considered an intensification of the design waves, as a result of tropical cyclones, and the operational design maritime structures should consider a lower occurrence of extreme events as a result of Nortes.


Colloquium Schedule