Dismiss Notice
Join Physics Forums Today!
The friendliest, high quality science and math community on the planet! Everyone who loves science is here!

What is the impact of storms on submarines?

  1. Mar 19, 2017 #1
    Here is a scenario to further explain. Let's say I am traveling inside of a submarine. I travel within a depth of 100 to 600 feet deep or 4 to 19 atmospheres. How would I and my submarine be affected if there were a hurricane, tsunami, or hurricane above the ocean.

    Furthermore, does the strength of ocean currents decrease deeper you go?
     
  2. jcsd
  3. Mar 19, 2017 #2
    Strong winds at the surface can cause unusual currents in the water (a storm surge), at the surface,
    but I doubt the effect extends to deep water beyond say around 10m.
    As for ocean currents in general they tend to be very much the product of local geography,
    so what applies in the N Atlantic (for example), could be very different to what applies in the Southern ocean near Antartica.
     
  4. Mar 19, 2017 #3

    berkeman

    User Avatar

    Staff: Mentor

    Welcome to the PF.

    Is this a military submarine? If so, the biggest impact on operations doesn't come from any small change in the currents. I can think of at least two other important effects. Can yoiu say what they may be? :smile:
     
  5. Mar 19, 2017 #4
    It could be a military submarine or a more recreational submarine.

    Yep! What are those effects?
     
  6. Mar 19, 2017 #5

    berkeman

    User Avatar

    Staff: Mentor

    You tell us... :smile:
     
  7. Mar 19, 2017 #6
    What about tsunami's and hurricanes? That wouldn't affect submarine travel deeper than 10 meters either?
     
  8. Mar 19, 2017 #7

    berkeman

    User Avatar

    Staff: Mentor

    One of those would. Which one?
     
  9. Mar 19, 2017 #8
    Oh. Didn't know you were asking me. Is it communications and marine life interference?
     
  10. Mar 19, 2017 #9
    I'm going to guess tsunami. Hurricanes usually affect the first few meters at most. But that would depend on the size since some hurricanes are stronger than others.
     
  11. Mar 19, 2017 #10

    berkeman

    User Avatar

    Staff: Mentor

    Not exactly communication... What else is important on a military submarine?
     
  12. Mar 19, 2017 #11
    The extended duration life support systems is the most important on any submarine.
     
  13. Mar 19, 2017 #12
    I don't think a hurricane would, water is much denser than air, so it takes a lot of wind kinetic energy to move water a relatively small amount.
    Tsunamis on the other hand are the result of a lot of energy which already is in the water, and probably could be a hazard for a submarine at any depth,
    if the submarine is somewhat close to the point of origin, such as an undersea Earthquake.
     
  14. Mar 19, 2017 #13
    What about strong waves? Let's say a rogue wave? Doesn't wave energy decreases the deeper you go?
     
  15. Mar 19, 2017 #14
    Waves on the sea are surface phenomena.
    They may give an indication of what is happening below the surface, but can't create the conditions, beyond stirring up some of the seafloor material when the wave breaks upon arrival at a shoreline.
     
    Last edited: Mar 19, 2017
  16. Mar 19, 2017 #15

    berkeman

    User Avatar

    Staff: Mentor

    Pffft. :smile: Military submarines can stay underwater for decades. The only limiting factor would be food, and even after their standard load of great food runs out, they probably have at least a year of MREs stored. They probably have a way to harvest fish underwater at some point, when necessary, but I'm just guessing at that. So no, that's not what I was referring to.

    Related hint -- Have you read Tom Clancy's novel, "The Hunt for Red October"? Great book. :smile:

    https://images-na.ssl-images-amazon.com/images/I/71REkT0NehL.jpg
    71REkT0NehL.jpg
     
  17. Mar 19, 2017 #16

    davenn

    User Avatar
    Science Advisor
    Gold Member

    Tsunami's , tho they travel through the full depth of the ocean/sea, their effects out in the deep ocean are negligible
    Ships on the surface don't even feel their passing. I don't have any references for submarines, but I wouldn't expect the
    effects to be anything significantly different than it is for ships on the surface.
    Tsunami's are only evident when the water shallows and the waves build up in height


    Dave
     
  18. Mar 19, 2017 #17

    davenn

    User Avatar
    Science Advisor
    Gold Member

    only the wind driven waves

    see my earlier post re tsunamis


    D
     
  19. Mar 19, 2017 #18

    davenn

    User Avatar
    Science Advisor
    Gold Member

    yeah a great story, try and watch the movie at least once a year :smile:

    actually pretty much all T.C's novels are very good


    Dave
     
  20. Mar 19, 2017 #19
    Just requested the book. Any more good submarine novel recommendations?
     
  21. Mar 19, 2017 #20
    I agree in the case of tsunami you have a pressure wave inside the water at all depths, regardless of 'normal' waves at the surface.
    I would not to want to be in a submerged submarine close to the epicenter of a big seafloor earthquake.
     
Know someone interested in this topic? Share this thread via Reddit, Google+, Twitter, or Facebook

Have something to add?
Draft saved Draft deleted



Similar Discussions: What is the impact of storms on submarines?
  1. Solar Storm (Replies: 5)

  2. Geomagnetic Storm (Replies: 2)

  3. Enormous solar storms (Replies: 2)

Loading...