This paper presents a methodology for identifying a set of irregular sea states for sloshing model test conditions that are most likely to produce large sloshing pressures on tank walls. To identify the critical sea states, the sloshing pseudo-response amplitude operator (RAO) is defined based on the total sloshing wave energy that is the sum of kinetic and potential energies on the free surface. The mathematical model is formulated in the frequency domain within the regime of potential flow theory. A concept of sloshing intensity is then introduced to define the sloshing severity in an irregular sea state based on the area under the sloshing wave energy response spectrum curve. The tank is expected to induce violent fluid motions for high sloshing intensity values and, as a result, its walls can experience large sloshing impact pressures. The validity of the proposed methodology is investigated by comparing the results of the numerical analysis to those of the model test for the cargo tank of a floating liquefied natural gas terminal. Favorable results in identifying the critical sea states are obtained for tested filling levels. The proposed methodology can be utilized as a pre-screening procedure for selecting relevant sea states at the initial phase of the sloshing model test and for use in the selection of sloshing flow simulation conditions.

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