What is the impact of storms on submarines?

  • #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?
 

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  • #2
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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.
 
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  • #3
berkeman
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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?
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:
 
  • #4
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:

It could be a military submarine or a more recreational submarine.

Yep! What are those effects?
 
  • #6
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.

What about tsunami's and hurricanes? That wouldn't affect submarine travel deeper than 10 meters either?
 
  • #7
berkeman
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What about tsunami's and hurricanes? That wouldn't affect submarine travel deeper than 10 meters either?
One of those would. Which one?
 
  • #8
You tell us... :smile:

Oh. Didn't know you were asking me. Is it communications and marine life interference?
 
  • #9
One of those would. Which one?

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.
 
  • #10
berkeman
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Oh. Didn't know you were asking me. Is it communications and marine life interference?
Not exactly communication... What else is important on a military submarine?
 
  • #11
Not exactly communication... What else is important on a military submarine?

The extended duration life support systems is the most important on any submarine.
 
  • #12
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What about tsunami's and hurricanes? That wouldn't affect submarine travel deeper than 10 meters either?
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.
 
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  • #13
I don't think a hurricane would, water is much denser than air, so it takes a lot of wind kenetic 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.

What about strong waves? Let's say a rogue wave? Doesn't wave energy decreases the deeper you go?
 
  • #14
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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.
 
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  • #15
berkeman
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The extended duration life support systems is the most important on any submarine.
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
 
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  • #16
davenn
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What about tsunami's and hurricanes?

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
 
  • #17
davenn
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Waves on the sea are surface phenomena.

only the wind driven waves

see my earlier post re tsunamis


D
 
  • #18
davenn
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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:

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
 
  • #19
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

Just requested the book. Any more good submarine novel recommendations?
 
  • #20
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see my earlier post re tsunamis
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.
 
  • #21
berkeman
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  • #22
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.

Are certain bodies of water are more vulnerable to tsunamis?
 
  • #23
berkeman
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Are certain bodies of water are more vulnerable to tsunamis?
Yes, Google Tsunami Alert Zones...
 
  • #24
davenn
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I would not to want to be in a submerged submarine close to the epicenter of a big seafloor earthquake.

the only thing a ship or submarine feels from a close by earthquake is the pulse of the P wave as the S and other waves don't travel through the ocean
people in boats often report that the passing of the P wave feels like the boat had run aground

it would be interesting to know the effect on a ship or sub that was right over the fault when it ruptured as to if they would feel the
effect of the drop or pushing up of the ocean
 
  • #25
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Yes there are parts of the Earth where undersea quakes are not rare, and nearby land is vulnerable.
Low lying islands in Indonesia are some of the most at risk
 

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