W a v e s

Ally Kuehl - Marine Biology - October 28

How do Waves Work?


Wind transfers energy to the water by blowing over it. Then, air molecules and water molecules rub against each other, creating waves. So naturally, stronger winds equal bigger waves.

  • Waves move up and down, not horizontally.
  • Tsunamis are unpredictable, and caused by earthquakes or underwater volcano activity.
  • Some waves are based on complete randomness.


Three Main Types of Breaking Waves

Spilling/Rolling:

-Safest waves for surfing

-On flat shorelines

Surging:

-May not actually break

-Very deep water

Plunging/Dumping:

-When they break, they can dump swimmers

-For experienced surfers

Wave Formation Depends on...

  • Water depth
  • Time that the wind has been blowing
  • Width of area affected
  • Wind speed
  • Distance of open water that has been hit by wind