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Oceanography

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Read the following passage. Then fill in the diagram with the information that you rea'~.

Rogue waves are extremely large waves that are more than double
the average height of most waves. According to mathematical
calculations and various personal accounts, rogue waves can reach
remarkable heights. They appear unexpectedly in calm waters and
can do major damage, even to large ships. Unlike tsunamis, which
are practically undetectable in deep water, rogue waves only occur
far out at sea. Stories about rogue waves have circulated amongst
sailors for centuries, but it was not until recently that scientists
confirmed that they actually exist. What they still are not sure of,
however, is what causes them.
Some instances of rogue waves have been explained by the
interactions of normal wave patterns with ocean currents. Scientists
believe that it is possible for waves to reach the heights described
when they come into contact with strong ocean currents. The wave
heights increase significantly when a normal wave reaches a current
head on. In other words, the wave is built up by the power of the
current. This explanation was first proposed after scientists observed
a high incidence of rogue waves in the ocean surrounding the
southern tip of Africa. Intact, since 1990, at least twenty ships have
encountered the waves, which reportedly reached up to 190 feet. The
waves are thought to be caused by wave interactions with the strong
Agulhas Current, which runs southbound along the east coast of the
continent.
Ocean currents may be responsible for rogue waves in some
parts of the world, but scientists have confirmed their existence even
in areas that are not affected by strong currents. In those cases,
scientists think that the waves are caused by wave reinforcement.
Wave reinforcement is when two or more waves join together to form
one massive wave. When the waves are joined, each height is added
to the others. For example, if a ten-foot wave comes into contact with
a fifteen-foot wave, the resulting wave will be twenty-five feet tall.
According to some evidence, it is possible that many waves can join
together, which would create rogue waves. Scientists still do not
understand which circumstances cause wave reinforcement, but
many propose that the reason rogue waves appear suddenly is
because they are formed by multiple smaller waves randomly.

*@11

account:
a description of an event
undetectable:
unable to be noticed or
observed
circulate:
to pass from one person
to another
current:
a steady flow of water in
one direction
Incidence:
the rate at which
something happens
massive:
very large
randomly:
occurring without any
pattern

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