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Wave Concepts and Terminology for Students and T


eachersWaveThe repeating and periodic disturbance that travels through a medium eg water from one location to another locationWave CharacteristicsWave crestThe highest part of a waveWave troughThe low

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Document on Subject : "Wave Concepts and Terminology for Students and T"— Transcript:

1 Wave Concepts and Terminology for Studen
Wave Concepts and Terminology for Students and T eachers Wave The repeating and periodic disturbance that travels through a medium (e.g. water) from one location to another location. Wave C haracteristics Wave crest The highest part of a wave. Wave trough The lowest part of a wave. Wave height The vertical distance between the wave trough and the wave crest. Wave length The distance between two consecutive wave crests or betwee n two consecutive wave troughs. Wave frequency The number of waves passing a fixed point in a specified period of time. Wave period The time it takes for two successive crests (one wavelength) to pass a specified point. The wave period is often referenced in seconds, e.g. one wave every 6 seconds . Fetch The uninterrupted area or distance over which the wind blows (in the same direction). The greater the fetch, the greater the wave height. Types of Ocean Waves Ripples The ruffling of the water’s surface

2 due to pressure variations of the wind
due to pressure variations of the wind on the water. This creates stress on the water and results in tiny short wavelength waves called ripples. Ripples are often called capillary waves. Breaking Waves - http://mrvanarsdale.com/marine - science/online - textbook/chapter - 6 - waves/ Waves travel with little change across the vast expanses of the open ocean, but eventually all wa ves must reach shore. As a wave approaches the coast, it becomes shorter in length and more abrupt, increasing its height. Friction with the bottom causes the trough of the wave to disappear, the crest to slow its movement, and when the depth causes the wa ve height to b ecome 1.3 times the water depth, the crest falls, forming a b reaker. There are four basic types of breaking waves: spilling, plunging, collapsing, and surging. • Spilling waves are gentle waves with crests that break softly towards the shore. These waves break when the ocean floor has a gradual slope. • Plunging waves bre

3 ak when the ocean floor is steep or has
ak when the ocean floor is steep or has sudden depth changes. They can be powerful barrels or enormous close - outs. • A collapsing wave is a mix of spilling and plunging waves. • Surging waves are the result of long period swells. As a result, the wave is slow, the faces are smooth and oblique, and the crest barely exists. These waves may not break at all. Breaking waves have a deep trough; surging waves do not. (info from Surfer T oday: http://www.surfertoday.com/surfing/10588 - why - do - waves - break ) Plunging wave Image credit: http://www.surfertoday.com/surfing/10588 - why - do - waves - break Spilling wave Image credit: http://geology.uprm.edu/MorelockSite/morelockonline/ 2 - waves.htm Chop Many s mall waves causing the ocean surface to be rough. Swell Wind - generated waves that have travelled out of their generating area. Swells characteristically exhibit smoother, more regular , and uniform crests and a longer wave length than wind waves