Extreme hurricane design criteria for LNG developments: Experience using a long synthetic database
McConochie, JD and Stroud, SA and Mason, LB, Extreme hurricane design criteria for LNG developments: Experience using a long synthetic database, Proceedings of the Annual Offshore Technology Conference, 3-6 May, Huston, Texas, USA, pp. 1869-1882. ISSN 0160-3663 (2010) [Refereed Conference Paper]
Tropical cyclones (hurricanes) dominate the extreme wave climate off North West (NW) Australia between latitudes 5 to 25 degrees south, with a storm occurrence rate of 4.5 storms per season. On average, two of these storms attain Category 5 intensity. The NW Australian region of interest has an area equal to the northern half of the Gulf of Mexico, and it appears that hurricane return period wave height criteria in the southern part of the NW Australian region (approximately 20 degrees south), produce return period wave heights of the same magnitude as for the central region of the Gulf of Mexico. A reliable historical hurricane database for that region exists only for the post-satellite era (since 1970), consequently the historical storm database is relatively short. Use of short historical storm databases for forecasting storm wind and wave fields, and application of extrapolation methods (e.g. peak-over-threshold) for determining return period estimates out to say the 100 year return period are well founded. However extension of this method to obtain estimates at very low probabilities (e.g. to the 1 in 10,000 year return period) involves extrapolating the tail of the distribution. It is recognized this provides highly uncertain estimates at low probability levels. To overcome the problem of extrapolation, a synthetic database has been developed consisting of approximately 450,000 individual synthetic storms (100,000 years) to represent the hurricane population of the study region. This paper describes development of the synthetic tropical cyclone (hurricane) storm database, and the distinct advantages that it offers as the associated time histories of the wind and wave fields are available at all return periods. This allows examination of storm and wave characteristics at say the 100, 1000 and 10,000 year levels, and application of the storm time histories to obtain response-based criteria. Copyright 2010, Offshore Technology Conference.