Ocean waves are dispersive and directionally spread, changing size and shape as they propagate. Therefore the maximum crest height over an area in a given length of time will be larger than the maximum crest at a single point. Extreme crest heights are usually calculated from single point statistics, but the designer of a platform is really interested in the probability of a wave crest reaching any part of the deck area. Statistics for the maximum crest over an area have been developed using a combination of analytic theory and numerical simulations. The resulting crest heights are significantly higher than given by point statistics even for relatively small areas. On the other hand, only a small fraction of the deck may be inundated. That fraction can be estimated by a applying a two dimensional version of the NewWave method that finds the most probable shape of an extreme wave.

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