OSU OC 103 - e-OC103-Lesson18 (8 pages)

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e-OC103-Lesson18



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e-OC103-Lesson18

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Pages:
8
School:
Oregon State University
Course:
Oc 103 - Exploring The Deep: Geography Of The World's Oceans

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OC103 Lesson 18 Waves in the Ocean An ocean wave is an undulation of the sea surface Although a wave appears to travel across the ocean it is only the energy within the waves that moves long distances The water itself just moves around a bit as the wave passes Some of the properties of ocean waves are shown in the figure below from your textbook Wave crest is the peak of the wave Wave trough is the low point of the wave Wave height is the difference in height between the crest and the trough Wave length is the horizontal distance between the peak of one wave and the peak of the next or one trough to the next Wave period is the time interval between two crests or two troughs passing a fixed point Wave speed celerity of the wave can be calculated by dividing the wavelength by the wave period Wavelengths are in meters and wave periods are in seconds so wave speed is in meters per second i e meters divided by seconds equals m s The connection between the size of a wave and its speed is one of the reasons that waves often travel together in trains of 5 10 similar sized waves that surfers call sets What Causes Waves By far the most common waves on the ocean surface are caused by winds pushing the water surface into a wave form Waves increase in size depending on Wind velocity stronger winds make bigger waves Wind duration longer storms make bigger waves Fetch distance over which the wind blows longer distances make bigger waves Simply put wave size increases as you increase the strength and duration of the wind and distance over which it blows A submarine disturbance such as slumping or faulting that displaces the seafloor causes a disturbance of the overlying water into one or more low broad waves called a tsunami see figure below The gravitational pulls of the Sun and Moon cause low very broad waves that travel across the oceans in synchronization with the positions of the Sun and Moon These waves are called tides and will be covered in a later lesson Types of Wind



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