Topic Media - Archived

What Causes Ocean Waves?

Description

wind causes waves

Caption

Wind is the most common creator of waves in the sea. The wind transfers its energy to the sea by dragging the ocean's surface. At first, wind blowing over the sea surface generates small ripples. If the wind continues to blow, the ripples grow and gradually form larger waves. The height of a wave in the open ocean depends on the strength and duration of the wind, the depth of the water, and the fetch, or size of the area over which the wind is blowing. The highest point on a wave is the peak or crest, its lowest point is the trough. The distance between crests is called the wavelength and the time it takes for one crest to the next to pass a fixed point is called the wave period.

Credit

Ellen Prager, StormCenter Communications

Topic Filename Media Filename

topics/1waves.top

topics/wavelength.jpg

Source URL

 

More Info URL

http://www.ndbc.noaa.gov/educate/pacwave.shtml