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Water waves have many applications in geophysics.

Here is a list of important points.

  1. Wavelength and frequency of waves are related through the dispersion relation.
  2. The velocity of a wave phase can differ from the velocity at which wave energy propagates.
  3. Waves in deep water are dispersive, longer wavelengths travel faster than shorter wavelengths. Waves in shallow water are not dispersive.
  4. The dispersion of ocean waves has been accurately measured, and observations of dispersed waves can be used to track distant storms.
  5. The shape of the sea surface results from a linear superposition of waves of all possible wavelengths or frequencies traveling in all possible directions.
  6. The spectrum gives the contributions by wavelength or frequency to the variance of surface displacement.
  7. Wave energy is proportional to variance of surface displacement.
  8. Digital spectra are band limited, and they contain no information about waves with frequencies higher than the Nyquist frequency.
  9. Waves are generated by wind. Strong winds of long duration generate the largest waves.
  10. Various idealized forms of the wave spectrum generated by steady, homogeneous winds have been proposed. Two important ones are the Pierson-Moskowitz and JONSWAP spectra.
  11. Observations by mariners on ships and by satellite altimeters have been used to make global maps of wave-height. Wave gauges are used on platforms in shallow water and on the continental shelf to measure waves. Bottom-mounted pressure gauges are used to measure waves just offshore of beaches. And synthetic-aperture radars are used to obtain information about wave directions.


This category has only the following subcategory.

Pages in category "Geophysics"

The following 6 pages are in this category, out of 6 total.