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OCEA 101

Why should you care?

- waves provide as much

energy to the shore line

as the sun

- near shore and breaking

waves have a

considerable influence on

shoreline communities

Overview

Wave characteristics

Wave motions

Deep water waves

Shallow water waves

Wave groups

Wave refraction, diffraction and reflection

Tsunamis

Standing waves

Waves

A wave is the transmission of

energy through a

mediumthis is true for all

types of waves!

The particles of the medium

stay in the same general area

(there are no sound particles)

Wave Types

3 Types of waves:

Transverse (side to side)

Longitudinal (up-down)

Orbital (circular movement)

For Simplicity, we will

assume that ocean waves

are Sine Waves (this isnt

actually true!)

Net motion is up and down

(bobbing)

NOT a sine wave, so a slight

forward motion as well

Mathematical Description

Height (H) = crest to trough distance

Height (H) = crest to trough distance

Wavelength (L) = crest to crest distance

Height (H) = crest to trough distance

Wavelength (L) = crest to crest distance

Steepness = H/L (waves break when H/L>1/7)

Period (T) = time for one wavelength

Speed (C) = L/T

Frequency (f) = 1/T, or C = L x f

Wave Classification

Wave Speed

Wave speed is given by:

- g= acceleration due to gravity = 9.81 m/s

- tanh(x) is the hyperbolic tangent

Deep water waves: d>L/2,

Shallow water waves: d<L/20,

2

g 2 d

C L tanh

2 L

=

2

2 d g

tanh 1, C L

L 2

=

2

2 d 2 d

tanh , C gd

L L

=

Classification

Deep-Water Waves

Water depth (d) deeper than L/2

C = L/T, but its hard to measure L

C = gT / 2, --> C = 156 x T (m/s)

Particles

move in a

circular

pattern

Classification

Shallow-Water Waves (long waves)

Water depth (d) < 1/20 of L

C = ( g x d )

1/2

--> 3.1 x (d)

1/2

Therefore, as depth shallows, wave slows

Particles move elliptically, almost horizontally

Classification

Transitional waves

Length is > 2x but less than 20x depth (d)

Properties are somewhere between deep-

water and shallow-water waves

Wave Relations

Wind-Driven Waves

Capillary Waves --> Gravity Waves (Chop)

--> White Caps --> Swell

Can be Deep or Shallow waves

Restoring Force: the source of energy

dispersion that destroys a wave

Wind-Wave Formation

Waves increase energy by :

1) Wind Speed

2) Duration

3) Fetch

More

Definitions

Sea: local waves formed by wind events

Confused Sea: local irregular waves of

many periods and from many directions

Fully developed Sea: the waves that

form when fetch, wind speed, and

duration are maximal

Wave Train: waves that have left the

windy region and are sorted by period

Wave Trains

Sorted by

wavelength (and

therefore speed)

this is wave

dispersion

These become swell

Individual waves

appear to be moving

faster (2x) than the

group velocity

Interference Patterns

All waves can be combined algebraically

They combine in 3 patterns:

Constructive (phases match up)

Destructive (phases are exactly out of

alignment)

Mixed (most commonsomewhere in

between)

Rogue

Waves

Rogue

Waves

Can exceed 100 ft

ship-killers

Wave Trains

Storm Surge

Not really a wave

(we cant apply

our mathematical

descriptions to it)

Hurricanes pile

up water in the

right front

quadrant

Tsunamis: Harbor Wave

Caused by a seismic

disturbance

Most common in the Pacific

Harmless until they hit the

coast

Internal Waves

Caused by changes in pycnocline

Doesnt require much energy to get

them going

The Surf Zone

Primary source of energy dissipation for

swell

When deep-water waves reach the

shore, they form breakers as H/L > 1/ 7

E=Total energy of a wave is

distributed over one wavelength

per unit width of crest from sea

surface to depth of L/2.

E is proportional to H

2

Recall that C=L/T

Shoaling waves or waves moving

against a current slow down

which means L decreases,

meaning that H must increase

to conserve energy.

Hence shoaling waves increase in

height, steepen and eventually break.

Waves moving against a current

Increase in height.

Refraction, Diffraction,

Reflection

Refraction: waves feel bottom and will turn (or

get dragged) towards headlands

Refraction, Diffraction,

Reflection

Diffraction: waves

can move around

obstacles because

energy is propagated

in all directions

Wave Diffraction

Refraction, Diffraction,

Reflection

Reflection: two waves of same wavelength, but

moving in opposite directions, interact to form a

standing wave. There is NO circular motion!

Seiches (Standing Waves)

Second Node Standing Waves

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