waves

Ocean Waves Styles and Patterns


Wind energy is transferred to surface waters by frictional processes to generate surface ocean currents and waves.

Oceanic waves may be approximated mathematically by a sine wave, and therefore exhibit a smooth, regular oscillation.


Wave Height
( H )
vertical distance between
any crest and succeeding trough
 

Wavelength
( L )
horizontal distance between
successive crests or troughs



Wave Period
( T )
time interval between
the passage of successive crests
 

Celerity (Wave Speed)
( C )
C = L / T
(or wavelength / period)

Wave oscillation is also described by frequency,
 1/T (the number of waves passing a stationary point in a given length of time)




CHARACTERISTICS OF WAVE MOTION:

The speed of shallow water waves is independent of wavelength or wave period
and is controlled by the depth of water!!

The speed of deep water waves is independent of the depth
and is determined by wavelength and period!!

Deep water waves are therefore dispersive (i.e., wave speed is frequency dependent) and
wave separation will occur according to celerity, length, and period in the 'open' ocean!!

Any complicated ocean wave surface can therefore be constructed (theoretically)
by a combination of simple sine waves of different height, period, and phase!!


 

WIND WAVES, SEA, AND SWELL:


Capillary waves formed on the surface of the ocean.

Waves eventually attain a maximum significant height, or fully developed seas!!

Maximum wave height is determined by the point at which the energy imparted to the waves
by the wind is equal to the energy lost by the waves through breaking or other frictional loss!!


wavechopWhitecap formation typical of fully developed seas.

waveswell Formation of open ocean swells

Most wind-generated waves eventually reach shorelines and dissipate any remaining energy.




WAVES IN SHALLOW WATER:


 

TSUNAMIS:


 

STANDING WAVES:


 

INTERNAL WAVES:

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