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Modelling the seasonality of extreme waves in the gulf of Mexico

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Abstract

Statistics of storm peaks over threshold depend typically on a number of covariates including location, season and storm direction. Here, a non-homogeneous Poisson model is adopted to characterise storm peak events with respect to season for two Gulf of Mexico locations. The behaviour of storm peak significant wave height over threshold is characterised using a generalised Pareto model, the parameters of which vary smoothly with season using a Fourier form. The rate of occurrence of storm peaks is also modelled using a Poisson model with rate varying with season. A seasonally-varying extreme value threshold is estimated independently. The degree of smoothness of extreme value shape and scale, and the Poisson rate, with season, is regulated by roughness-penalised maximum likelihood; the optimal value of roughness selected by cross-validation. Despite the fact that only the peak significant wave height event for each storm is used for modelling, the influence of the whole period of a storm on design extremes for any seasonal interval is modelled using the concept of storm dissipation, providing a consistent means to estimate design criteria for arbitrary seasonal intervals. Characteristics of the 100-year storm peak significant wave height, estimated using the seasonal model, are examined and compared to those estimated ignoring seasonality. Copyright © 2008 by ASME.