Kayaking Technique Forum

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Re: why do waves come in sets anyway?
In Response To: Re: watch out for the big ones ()

: no kidding, so why do waves come in sets anyway? Must be one of those
: "why is the sky blue?" questions

Wave motion is non-linear. In general, no mater what profile your original wave comes in it changes over time to be 2 waves and those 2 become 3 and then 4 ...

If you watch the front wave of a wave train, it will over time become not the front wave.

Sets are simply the last brake-ups of a wave. You may have a wave train with a period of 1 mile several miles offshore that becomes 6,7,or 8 waves near shore - period of about 1/7 miles. These waves will be of different sizes but each wave offshore will become the "same 6,7, or 8 waves" near shore. (Differences happen because waves from different sources alter everthing abit.)

"Wind Waves: Their Generation and Propagation" is a wonderful book on the sea.