Hindcast estimates of extreme wave conditions in the Gulf of Maine

Vijay Panchang, Bryan R. Pearce, K. K. Puri

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

8 Citations (Scopus)


The Gulf of Maine is a region lacking in wave data that can be used for engineering and research purposes. Extreme wave statistics for this area are therefore computed in this paper by numerical hindcasting. A representative sample of twenty-two strong extratropical northeast storms from the period 1942-1976 was selected, and wave heights were computed with a hybrid parametric wave model. The highest wave height at each point in the Gulf of Maine model grid for each storm was used to calculate 50 and 100-year return period wave heights. It is concluded that as a first-order estimate, any major engineering effort in the Gulf of Maine will have to reckon with significant wave heights as high as 13 metres for a 1% chance of occurrence. These results agree extremely well with other estimates based on shipboard observations.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)43-49
Number of pages7
JournalApplied Ocean Research
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1990
Externally publishedYes



  • extreme waves
  • Gulf of Maine
  • hindcasting
  • northeast storm
  • wave model

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ocean Engineering

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