Monstrous ‘rogue wave’ likely largest ever recorded of the coast of Canada

rogue wave

Marine biologists have confirmed an enormous wave off the coast of Canada in 2020 was the largest “rogue” wave to ever be recorded. In November 2020, a 58-foot-tall rogue wave crashed in the waters off British Columbia, Canada.

A “rouge wave” is when a wave has a swell greater than twice the height of the ones directly before and after them, according to AmazeLab. These waves happen in open water and grow more than double the height of neighbouring waves.


Video simulation of the MarineLabs buoy and mooring around the time of the record-setting rogue wave recorded off of Ucluelet, B.C. (MarineLabs Data Systems)

The recent rogue wave was detailed in a study published in Scientific Reports. The buoy that recorded the event was deployed at Amphitrite Bank, about 4 miles offshore of Ucluelet, British Columbia, in August 2020. This was one of many buoys to be part of a network of marine sensors that comprise MarineLabs’ CoastAware™ platform. The buoy is able to record data in 20-minute bursts every 30 minutes.

When the rogue wave hit the buoy in November 2020, it was so large that it raised the buoy about 58 feet. The wave was over three times as large as the waves that had come before and after it.

“Only a few rogue waves in high sea states have been observed directly, and nothing of this magnitude. The probability of such an event occurring is once in 1,300 years,” Dr. Johannes Gemmrich, the lead author of the study and research scientist at the University of Victoria, said in a statement.

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