Ocean Waves Feature Summary

Physics in Your World
Ocean Waves
The side-view photo above shows how the back of a breaking wave spills over the front.

- This happens because as the wave enters more shallow water, its speed slows down, and the back of the wave overruns the front.
- If the reduction in depth happens quickly, the breaking wave creates a cylindrical cavity, as in the wave above.
- For more on ocean waves, see Ocean Waves and Ocean in Motion.
Image credit: Malene Thyssen (Creative Commons); <a href="http://simple.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Boelge_stor.jpg" target="_blank">Image source</a>; <a href=" http://www.compadre.org/Informal/images/features/breaking wave-large.jpg" target="_blank">larger image</a>
Image credit: Malene Thyssen (Creative Commons); Image source; larger image
Image URL:
I:\Physics To Go\Homepages\Physics in Your World\break-wave-large-7-15-10.jpg
August 1, 2010 - August 16, 2010