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Prediction of Coastal Wave Breaking - Essay Example

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The flow of winds over water bodies creates ripples on the surface of water and thus creates disturbances which make it rough. Taking grip of such a rough surface, the stronger winds that flow over the surface, again push the ripples in the direction of wind, and thus those small disturbances take a larger form by growing into waves…
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Prediction of Coastal Wave Breaking
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Download file to see previous pages However the magnitude of such waves may be unequal.
In the process, the energy from the wind is transferred to the wave and this is then carried on to great distances. In this process, a waver undergoes many transitions in its energy and characteristics when it interferes with other waves. The energy of such a wave might then increase or decrease when such interferences occur. In this phenomenon of energy transfer, the water molecules itself do not physically move with the wave but rather pass on the energy in the direction of the wave by just moving up and down. Creation of waves is a continuous process and therefore small and large waves can be seen almost continuously to be moving towards the shore.
Such waves are created at any location in oceans irrespective to its relative location with the land mass however differential temperature play an important role in governing where shall the wind blow from and eventually plays a vital role in generation of waves. The temperatures of oceans also differ from each other and the kind of waves that can be seen in one differs much from the other.
When the wave approaches landmass and as the sea floor begins to rise, the wave gradually changes its shape. Its physical form gets transformed and edge waves are generated by this interaction. When a swell reaches the coastline it also comes nearer to the sea floor which offers friction and results in eventually slowing down of the wave. The wave loses some part of its energy with this contact. With this retardation in speed, the period of the wave is shortened and thus the wave height increases and this creates more visible and turbulent crests in a wave. This phenomenon of slowing down of waves is called shoaling.
The manner in which this happens is largely dependent upon the nature of the sea floor; especially it's gradient. This process of shoaling ultimately results into a situation where the top of the wave attains a considerable height and the forward movement of the upper part overtakes the wave and begins to spill foreword. This results into the disintegration of the wave formation and thus resulting into what is called a 'wave break'. This breaking of wave is dependent on many different factors such as the type of swell, the direction and intensity of wind, slope of sea bed and sea floor features like physical objects, vegetation etc.
The factor of wind is the most vital in understanding and prediction how the wave shall break in what time of the day. When the offshore wind is blowing from the land side to the seaside, it prolongs the time that a wave takes to break. The wind blows to act against the top part of the wave and thus provides it a support. Therefore the wave takes longer time to break in comparison to what it would have taken in the absence of wind. In this case the wave creates more powerful break when it is achieved. The onshore wind that flows from sea side to the landside acts in the opposite manner to the phenomenon explained in the offshore winds and therefore it lessens the time that a wave needs to break by pushing the upper part of the wave. In a way, it aids the water to break even before it reaches the desired amount of rise so as to cause its naturally swelling. In this phenomenon it can be seen that many times the waves break before teaching the ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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