#BergenWaveWatching: Looking at waves from all sides in Lille Lungegårdsvannet

Kjersti, Steffi, Elin and myself (Mirjam) recently discussed ways to better integrate the GEOF105 student cruise into the course. My suggestion was to ask the students to observe things throughout the whole duration of the course, and then have them relate their time series with what they observe when “at sea”. In this mini series tagged #BergenWaveWatching, I write up a couple of suggestions I have for observations that are easy and fun to make. I am anticipating that my suggestions will be strongly biased towards #wavewatching, so if you have any other suggestions, I am all ears! 🙂

Today we have another really accessible spot in Bergen that is super well suited for wave watching!

Where to go

Lille Lungegårdsvannet in Bergen city center

When to go

Whenever you happen to walk past there anyway

What to look out for

Suggestion 1: Waves and wind direction. The latter is very easy to observe from the fountain. And Lille Lungegårdsvannet is amazing for wave watching because you can walk all the way around and see waves from all sides!

Looking at Lille Lungegårdsvannet with the wind. Waves only appear at a distance from the shore in the foreground, because the water is sheltered from the wind by the shore. Blog post on this here.

Suggestion 2: wave reflection. Due to the geometric shape of Lille Lungegårdsvannet with all the straight edges all around, wave reflection can lead to really cool pattern! Can you relate what’s going on to the wind direction?

What to do with the data

Depending on how often you go, you can either relate the wave field to the wind direction and strength (both your own estimates and what the weather forecast says about those). Or you can describe a single situation like I did for example here.

Looking across Lille Lungegårdsvannet into the wind. See how the waves are now a lot taller than in the picture above? Blog post on this here.

 

The geometric shape of Lille Lungegårdsvannet leads to pretty reflections! Picture from this post

How this is relevant for the student cruise

Understanding waves is very relevant for anyone being on the water. Whether you are riding off a storm, deploying instrumentation or trying to keep the boat as steady as possible for sensitive work, being able to read the waves is key.

Also, connecting observations of conditions at land and sea to wind speeds is how the Beaufort scale was originally defined. Of course, you won’t see a fully developed wave field on a body of water as small as Lille Lungegårdsvannet, but it’s a good first step to observe differences.

Do you have suggestions for us? What other spots or topics would you recommend in and around Bergen to be added to the #BergenWaveWatching list? Please leave a comment! We are always looking to expand this list!

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