Tropical cyclones are one of the most dangerous metocean hazards, causing immense structural damage to coastal and marine infrastructure and considerable loss of life. In 2005, the successive impacts of tropical cyclones Katrina and Rita destroyed 115 offshore platforms and damaged 52 others.
ABPmer was commissioned by Arup to provide data on tropical cyclones to support feasibility assessment and preliminary engineering design for marine infrastructure in the Caribbean Sea.
A statistical assessment was carried out to gather information on all recorded tropical cyclones found to pass within a limiting radial distance of the site, and their associated frequency of occurrence by month and category.
The five most energetic historical tropical cyclones were selected for cyclonic modelling, carried out according to the Saffir-Simpson Hurricane Wind Scale, a 1 to 5 rating based on the tropical cyclones’ sustained maximum wind speed.
Up to 60 tropical revolving storm events from five independent cyclone storms were simulated with the parametric wind model of Holland (1980) and a bespoke MIKE21-SW model. Time series were extracted from the key locations and subject to extremes analysis.
The study produced a summary of the recorded tropical cyclones and the frequency of occurrence of tropical cyclones by category since 1950. Extreme wind and wave criteria were provided, along with the simulated wind and wave time series accompanying each modelled tropical cyclone as it passes the site of interest.