Ocean Waves Section 14.2

Vocab from this section: Crest-the highest point of a wave, Trough- the lowest point of a wave , Wavelength-the distance between two crests or troughs of a wave, Wave Height- The vertical distance between the crest and trough of a wave, Wave period- The time between the passing of two wave crests or troughs at a fixed point , Breaker Zone- An area near shore where waves break , Surf- The area between the breaker zone and shore , Whitecap- A small wave with a foamy crest , Swells- Waves that roll and move in a steady way across the ocean, and Tsunami- Waves that form when a large volume of water is moved up or down unexpectedly.

By defenition a wave is a long body of water curling into an arched form and breaking on the shore

Waves are made up of two things, Crests and troughs. The top part is a Crest and the lower part is the trough. A wavelength is the vertical distance between two wave crests or troughs. The wave height is the distance between the crest and trough of a wave.

The movement of waves makes it look as the water moved across the ocean. The water isn't actually moving across the ocean, that is just an illusion. Many and most waves are formed when wind puffs across the water transporting energy into the water. The waves move as energy travels through, though the water itself only rises and falls in a circular motion, staying back as the energy and waves move

Waves are just like us in a way. They come in different sizes and travel at different speeds. In order to calculate the speed a wave is traveling at you need to know the wavelength and wave period. A wave period is the time between the passage of two wave crests at a set point. To find wave speed you divide the wavelength by the wave period. Increase in wave period decreases wave speed and the other way around. The height of a wave depends on how far the wind is able to carry it and how long the wave goes uninterrupted.

You many not have realized this, but there are many different types of waves. You get different waves based on how the waves are formed. Which means waves can be formed by more than just wind. Some of these ways are underwater earthquakes, landslides, and impact from cosmic bodies of water.

Have you ever noticed how the waves get higher as they get to the shore? It's realated to the depth. Shallow water waves occur when a wave travels into shallow water and is affected by the ocean bottom. A deep water wave is a result of water particles putting more water in between the crest and causing the height to increase until gravity pulls it down and crashes them to the ocean floor. A breaker zone is a near shore area where waves begin to break. Area between the breaker zone and the shore is the surf.

When waves crash on the beach the water that was moved by them goes back into the ocean beneath incoming waves and with this it's carrying sand, rock particles, and plankton away from the shore, which is referred to as undertow. When a wave hits shore at an angle, it causes water move along shore in a current, called longshore current.

Whitecaps are white foaming waves with steep crests that break in open ocean before reaching the shore. Whitecaps are usual formed with stormy weather. More calm and peaceful weather results in Swells. A swell is a wave that moves in calm and set cycle. Swells can travel farther than whitecaps and have longer wavelengths.

tsunamis are huge waves that occur when a lot of water is suddenly moved up or down. It can be caused by underwater earthquakes, volcanic eruptions, landslides, underwater explosions, and impact from cosmic bodies. Most tsunamis happen in the Pacific Ocean because there are many earthquakes in that region. Tsunamis act like wind generated waves, and can be over 150km.

Storm Surges are rises in sea level near the shore caused by strong winds from storms like hurricanes, typhoons, and cyclones.Storm surges are caused by wind blowing water into a pile beneath the storm and as the storm moves to shore so does the water.Storm surges can be the most destructive part of a huricane.


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