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Refaction/Defraction at Coastal Structures - Essay Example

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Water waves are created as a result of application of an external force, say a gust wind, working against the gravity and surface tension. These waves exhibit various phenomena like reflection, refraction, diffraction and shoaling. Phenomena like refraction and shoaling occur in shallow waters (Komar, P)…
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Refaction/Defraction at Coastal Structures
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Download file to see previous pages In addition to the above parameters depth of water over which the wave travels also assumes importance (Dean, R.G. and Dalrymple, R.A). Distance between two consecutive crests is called the wave length while the time that elapses for two crests to pass a point is the period of the wave. These waves are associated with energy which is proportional to square of its height. A traveling wave carries this energy efficiently and the speed of energy travel is related to the wave speed, given by the product of wave length and reciprocal of wave period. As the wave approaches the shore or coastal line, it encounters change in water depth, that is, the wave enters shallow waters. The water is said to be shallow when one half of the wave length exceeds the depth of water.
Refraction is the process by which the wave, while propagating in shallow water at an angle to the physical topographical contours, changes its direction so as to align to the contours (Wallingford, H.R.). As the wave propagates towards the shore, the depth of the water continuously decreases. As a result, the wave experiences varied depth. The speed of the wave is faster in deeper water. Thus, the parts of the wave travel at varying speeds. Part of the wave in the shallowest water is the slowest while the part in deepest water is the fastest. ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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