Waves in the Sea
1. Explain what causes waves
2. Identify features of waves.
3. Describe wave motion.
4. Identify how waves affect coastal landforms.
As we learned earlier in the semester, a wave transfers energy without any net movements of the medium. additionally, all waves have a crest, trough, frequency and wavelength. Using this definition we can describe the waves in the ocean as a rhythmic rise and fall of the water's surface. The energy that is transferred by the motion of the waves erodes and shapes the coastlines. There are three main mechanisms for the formation of waves.
Although the net movement of a waves is a straight line, the medium in water waves travel in circular motion
Refraction of Ocean Waves:
Refraction is a property of waves exhibited as waves bend around areas of different densities. It can be seen as light bends around the atmosphere and as waves are deflected sideways at the beach.
When a wave collapses on the beach it is called a breaker. it is caused by the following conditions:
The buildup of water behind the breakers, swash, and backwash creates a parallel current called a longshore current.
Last modified: December 01, 2003