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Encyclopedia > Ocean surface wave
Ocean waves

Ocean surface waves are surface waves that occur in the upper layer of the ocean. They usually result from wind or geologic effects and may travel thousands of miles before striking land. They range in size from small ripples to huge tsunamis. There is little actual forward motion of individual water particles in a wave, despite the large amount of energy and momentum it may carry forward. I Can Hear the Sea, also known (offically) as Ocean Waves, is a Television Movie Anime made by Studio Ghibli. ... Image File history File links Size of this preview: 800 Ã— 600 pixelsFull resolution (1024 Ã— 768 pixel, file size: 123 KB, MIME type: image/jpeg)Karen Rahn likes Phil Davidashvilly. ... Image File history File links Size of this preview: 800 Ã— 600 pixelsFull resolution (1024 Ã— 768 pixel, file size: 123 KB, MIME type: image/jpeg)Karen Rahn likes Phil Davidashvilly. ... // In physics, a surface wave can refer to a mechanical wave that propagates along the interface between differing media, usually two fluids with different densities. ... Animated map exhibiting the worlds oceanic waters. ... For other uses, see Tsunami (disambiguation). ...

## Contents

A wave creating spray.

The great majority of large breakers one sees on an ocean beach result from distant winds. Three factors influence the formation of "wind waves" Image File history File links Download high-resolution version (1155x1075, 257 KB) Description: A picture taken of water spary. ... Image File history File links Download high-resolution version (1155x1075, 257 KB) Description: A picture taken of water spary. ...

• Wind speed
• Distance of open water that the wind has blown over; called fetch
• Length of time the wind has blown over a given area.

All of these factors work together to determine the size and shape of ocean waves. The greater each of the variables, the larger the waves. Waves are measured by: For other uses, see Wind (disambiguation). ... Fetch is a term for the length of water over which a given wind has blown. ...

• Amplitude (from trough to crest)
• Wavelength (from crest to crest)
• Period (time interval between arrival of consecutive crests at a stationary point)

Waves in a given area typically have a range of sizes and places. For weather reporting and for scientific analysis of wind wave statistics, their size over a period of time is usually expressed as "significant wave height." This figure represents the average height of the highest one-third of the waves in a given time period (usually twelve hours) or in a specific wave or storm system. Given the variability of wave size, the largest individual waves are likely to be twice the reported significant wave height for a particular day or storm. For other uses, see Wavelength (disambiguation). ... Periodicity is the quality of occurring at regular intervals (e. ...

## Types of wind waves

Three different types of wind waves develop over time:

Ripples appear on smooth water when the wind blows, but will die if the wind stops. The restoring force that allows them to propagate is surface tension. Seas are the larger-scale, often irregular motions that form under sustained winds. They tend to last much longer, even after the wind has died, and the restoring force that allows them to persist is gravity. As seas propagate away from their area of origin, they naturally separate according to their direction and wavelength. The regular wave motions formed in this way are known as swells. In physics, ripples are surface waves on a liquid with wavelengths so short that the liquids motion is governed almost entirely by surface tension forces. ... A capillary wave is a wave travelling along a meniscus, whose dynamics are dominated by the effects of surface tension. ... For other uses, see Swell. ... Surface tension is an effect within the surface layer of a liquid that causes that layer to behave as an elastic sheet. ...

Some waves undergo a phenomenon called "breaking". A breaking wave is one whose base can no longer support its top, causing it to collapse. A wave breaks when it runs into shallow water, or when two wave systems oppose and combine forces. When the slope, or steepness ratio, of a wave is too great, breaking is inevitable. A 1:24 slope may be a long, shallow swell found in deep waters. A 1:14[citation needed] and higher slope is a wave that is too steep to remain coherent. Waves can also break if the wind grows strong enough to blow the crest off the base of the wave. it is cool ... See: Shallow water blackout Waves and shallow water Shallow water equations Shallow Water, Kansas Category: ...

Spilling type of surf

• Spilling, or rolling: these are the safest on which to surf; they can be found in relatively sheltered areas.
• Plunging, or dumping: these break suddenly and can "dump" swimmers—pushing them to the bottom with great force. Strong winds can cause dumpers; they can also be found where there is a sudden rise in the sea floor.
• Surging: these may never actually break as they approach the water's edge, as the water below them is very deep. These waves can knock swimmers over and drag them back into deeper water.

In the context of sediment transport on beaches, ocean surface waves can also be classified as either constructive or destructive:

• Constructive waves tend to be low in height (less than 1 meter), and therefore low in energy. As they approach the beach, the wave front gets steeper only slowly, gently spilling on the beach surface. Swash rapidly loses volume and energy as water percolates through the beach material. This tends to give a weak backwash that has insufficient force to pull sediment off the beach or to impede swash from the next wave. As a consequence, material is slowly, but constantly, moved up the beach, leading to the formation of ridges (or berms).
• Destructive waves are tall, toppling waves carrying a lot of energy. As they approach the beach, they rapidly increase in steepness, and when breaking they plunge down and scour the beach. This creates a powerful backwash, as a significant amount of the energy of the wave has not dissipated during breaking and runup. The backwash inhibits the swash from the next wave. Very little material is moved up the beach, leaving the backwash to pull material away. Destructive waves are commonly associated with steeper beach profiles. The force of each wave may project some shingle well towards the rear of the beach where it forms a large ridge known as the storm beaches.

This page is a candidate to be copied to Wiktionary. ... It has been suggested that this article or section be merged with Swash. ...

## Science of waves

Motion of a particle in an ocean wave.
A = At deep water.
B = At shallow water (ocean floor is now at B). The circular movement of a surface particle becomes elliptical with decreasing depth.
1 = Progression of wave
2 = Crest
3 = Trough

Ocean surface waves are mechanical waves that propagate along the interface between water and air; the restoring force is provided by gravity, and so they are often referred to as surface gravity waves. As the wind blows, pressure and friction forces perturb the equilibrium of the ocean surface. These forces transfer energy from the air to the water, forming waves. In the case of monochromatic linear plane waves in deep water, particles near the surface move in circular paths, making ocean surface waves a combination of longitudinal (back and forth) and transverse (up and down) wave motions. When waves propagate in shallow water, (where the depth is less than half the wavelength) the particle trajectories are compressed into ellipses (also see shallow water equations). As the wave amplitude (height) increases, the particle paths no longer form closed orbits; rather, after the passage of each crest, particles are displaced a little forward from their previous positions, a phenomenon known as Stokes drift. A good illustration of the wave motion is given by *Prof. Robert Dalrymple Java applet Image File history File links Wave_motion-i18n. ... Image File history File links Wave_motion-i18n. ... Surface waves in water This article is about waves in the most general scientific sense. ... Impact from a water drop causes an upward rebound jet surrounded by circular capillary waves. ... Look up air in Wiktionary, the free dictionary. ... Ocean wave Wave clouds over Theresa, Wisconsin, USA Atmospheric gravity waves as seen from space. ... For other uses, see Wind (disambiguation). ... Longitudinal waves are waves that have vibrations along or parallel to their direction of travel. ... A light wave is an example of a transverse wave. ... See: Shallow water blackout Waves and shallow water Shallow water equations Shallow Water, Kansas Category: ... For other uses, see Ellipse (disambiguation). ... Output from a shallow water equation model of water in a bathtub. ...

As the depth into the ocean increases, the radius of the circular motion decreases. By a depth equal to half the wavelength λ, the orbital movement has decayed nearly to zero. The speed of the surface wave (also called the celerity) is well approximated by For other uses, see Wavelength (disambiguation). ... This article does not cite any references or sources. ... Celerity is another word for Speed Celerity is also a skill in White Wolfs World of Darkness Series, posessed by the clans Daeva and Toreador ...

$c=sqrt{frac{g lambda}{2pi} tanh left(frac{2pi d}{lambda}right)}$

where

c = phase speed;
λ = wavelength;
d = water depth;
g = acceleration due to gravity at the Earth's surface;

In deep water, where $d ge frac{1}{2}lambda$, so $frac{2pi d}{lambda} ge pi$ and the hyperbolic tangent approaches 1, c, in m/s, approximates $1.25sqrtlambda$, when λ is measured in meters. This expression tells us that waves of different wavelengths travel at different speeds. The fastest waves in a storm are the ones with the longest wavelength. As a result, when after a storm waves arrive on the coast, the first ones to arrive are the long wavelength swells. g (also gee, g-force or g-load) is a non-SI unit of acceleration defined as exactly 9. ...

When several wave trains are present, as is always the case in the ocean, the waves form groups. In deep water the groups travel at a group velocity which is half of the phase velocity.[citation needed] Following a single wave in a group one can see the wave appearing at the back of the group, growing and finally disappearing at the front of the group. The group velocity of a wave is the velocity with which the variations in the shape of the waves amplitude (known as the modulation or envelope of the wave) propagate through space. ...

As the water depth d decreases towards the coast, this will have an effect on the speed of the crest and the trough of the wave; the crest moves faster than the trough. This causes surf, a breaking of the waves. For other uses, see Coast (disambiguation). ... A crest is the section of a wave that rises above an undisturbed position. ... Look up surf on Wiktionary, the free dictionary. ...

Output from a shallow water equation model of water in a bathtub. The water experiences five splashes which generate surface gravity waves that propagate away from the splash locations and reflect off of the bathtub walls.

The movement of ocean waves can be captured by wave energy devices. The energy density (per unit area) of regular sinusoidal waves depends on the water density ρ, gravity acceleration g and the wave height h (which is equal to twice the amplitude, a): Wave power refers to the energy of ocean surface waves and the capture of that energy to do useful work - including electricity generation, desalination, and the pumping of water (into reservoirs). ... For other uses, see Density (disambiguation). ... It has been suggested that pulse amplitude be merged into this article or section. ...

$E=frac{1}{8}rho g {h}^2=frac{1}{2}rho g a^2.$

The velocity of propagation of this energy is the group velocity. The group velocity of a wave is the velocity with which the variations in the shape of the waves amplitude (known as the modulation or envelope of the wave) propagate through space. ...

The important practical application of the wave science is solving the 3D wave equations back in time. These methods allow to find the signal source from the measurements, done in several places that may be quite far from the point where the wave has originated [1].

## Ocean wave measurement

Ship board observations of waves has been recorded for over 130 years. This long record of the wave climate is complemented by indirect measurements of wave activty found in the Earth's "hum" recorded by seismometers. More accurate quantitative measurements can be made using a wave pole on a fixed structure. An observer stands on the shore in a designated spot and sights the wave alongside a pole positioned between them and the waves. Such poles are often part of weather monitoring stations located along coastlines, particularly those associated with lighthouses. 'Electronic poles' known as wave staffs are often used for precise engineering applications, and are operated on some research platforms such as the Aqua Alta tower in the Adriatic Sea, offshore of Venice. Wave staffs are usually replaced by radar (widely used in the Netherlands) or laser altimeters (such as found on some U.S. NDBC stations) for routine measurements. The Peggys Point lighthouse in Nova Scotia, Canada An aid for navigation and pilotage at sea, a lighthouse is a tower building or framework sending out light from a system of lamps and lenses or, in older times, from a fire. ...

A more common and robust way of measuring waves is using a buoy that records the motion of the water surface, which does not require a fixed platform. The buoy motion provide a time history of the water elevation for that location and statistics can be calculated including the significant and maximum wave heights and periods. Modern waverider buoys usually measure their movement along the three dimensions and so also give information about wave direction. For the south east Queensland coastline there are waverider bouys about every 100 km along the coast. The waverider buoys are typically positioned off the entrances of major ports or major recreational surfing or swimming beaches. A network of waverider buoys properly positioned can allow the interpolation of the wave climate for that region. Waverider buoy data is a typical input for coastal modelling, the waverider wave train is typically the deep water wave climate that is then refracted across the seabed contours into the wave breaking zone. A sea lion on navigational buoy #14 in San Diego Harbor Green can #11 near the mouth of the Saugatuck river. ... Slogan or Nickname: Sunshine State, Smart State Motto(s): Audax at Fidelis (Bold but Faithful) Other Australian states and territories Capital Brisbane Government Constitutional monarchy Governor Quentin Bryce Premier Anna Bligh (ALP) Federal representation  - House seats 28  - Senate seats 12 Gross State Product (2004-05)  - Product (\$m)  \$158,506 (3rd... Categories: Stub | Commercial item transport and distribution | Transportation ... For other uses, see Surfing (disambiguation). ... In the mathematical subfield of numerical analysis, interpolation is a method of constructing new data points from a discrete set of known data points. ... A coastal image featured on a United States postal stamp. ... This article refers to refraction in waves. ... Look up Contours in Wiktionary, the free dictionary. ... In physics, a breaking wave is a wave whose amplitude reaches a critical level at which some process can suddenly start to occur that causes large amounts of wave energy to be dissipated. ...

In coastal areas, the wave-induced velocities and pressure fluctuations can also be recorded using pressure gauges (sometimes of the same kind that measure tides) and current meters.

Wave heights can also be measured from space, at least in a statistical sense, using the change in the form of radar pulses reflected off the sea surface by altimeter radars as found on the French/U.S. Topex/Poseidon and Jason satellites. Other radar techniques such as real or synthetic aperture radars can also provide a measurement of wave directions and wavelengths. Such radar systems are best suited for long period waves (swells), allowing the tracking of swells over very long distances.

## Ocean wave models

Surfers are very interested in the predicted wave climate. There are many websites that provide predictions of the surf quality for the upcoming days and weeks. The Ocean Wave models are driven by more general climate models that predict the winds and pressures over the oceans. Climate models use quantitative methods to simulate the interactions of the atmosphere, oceans, land surface, and ice. ...

Ocean wave models are also an important part of examining the impact of shore protection and beach nourishment proposals. For many beach areas there is only patchy information about the wave climate, therefore estimating the effect of ocean waves is important for managing littoral environments. Before and after photos of beach restoration efforts, Florida coastline, USA. Beach nourishment device Beach nourishment is a complimentary term that describes a process by which sediment (usually sand) lost through longshore drift or erosion is replaced on a beach. ... A littoral is the region near the shoreline of a body of fresh or salt water. ...

## Notes

1. ^ The animation of solving 3D wave equation back in time [1]

Wave power refers to the energy of ocean surface waves and the capture of that energy to do useful work - including electricity generation, desalination, and the pumping of water (into reservoirs). ... When waves travel into areas of shallow water, they begin to be affected by the ocean bottom. ... Output from a shallow water equation model of water in a bathtub. ... The Draupner wave, a single giant wave measured on New Years Day 1995, finally confirmed the existence of freak waves, which had previously been considered near-mythical Rogue waves, also known as freak waves, or extreme waves, are relatively large and spontaneous ocean surface waves which are a threat...

Results from FactBites:

 Ocean surface wave - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia (1204 words) Ocean surface waves are surface waves which occur at the surface of an ocean. Ocean Waves are mechanical waves that propagate along the interface between water and air; the restoring force is provided by gravity, and so they are often referred to as surface gravity waves. The speed of the surface wave is also called celerity or phase velocity because it corresponds the speed of the shape of the wave, but is different from the speed of the water particles.
 Wave - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia (1282 words) Waves travel and transfer energy from one point to another, with little or no permanent displacement of the particles of the medium (there is little or no associated mass transport); instead there are oscillations around fixed positions. The amplitude of a wave (commonly notated as A, or another letter) is a measure of the maximum disturbance in the medium during one wave cycle. The units of the amplitude depend on the type of wave — waves on a string have an amplitude expressed as a distance (meters), sound waves as pressure (pascals) and electromagnetic waves as the amplitude of the electric field (volts/meter).
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