Kayaking Technique Forum

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Re: why do waves come in sets anyway?

: My understanding from "Waves and Beaches" was that the energy in
: the front wave gets "used up" in the process of setting in
: motion the "flat" water ahead of it. If the energy in the wave
: train is traveling at 5 miles per hour, the leading edge of the wave train
: is actually traveling a bit slower than that. However, the wave train gets
: longer, because the water "behind" the wave train continues to
: oscillate after the wave train passes over it.

Kingmans (author of Wind Waves...) is as unbearable as I am. His attitude is that "math describes some properties of waves and if you want to believe all that the math indicates you do so at your own risk". What you say may be predicted by some wave model. What you say may even be correct. I don't know the physics well enough (there must be at least 3 models for waves breaking with them all being both right (in some respects) and wrong (in other respects).

: Because the wave is starting to "feel" the bottom, right? It is
: making the progression from a deep water wave to a shallow water wave.
: (Deep and shallow is all relative to the height of a wave). A 2"
: ripple is a deep water wave in 2' of water. A tsunami is obviously not a
: deep water wave in 2' of water!

It (whatever your comment was about) had no relation to the water depth. I was talking about deep water. But in shallow water (h/L < 1/20) a lot of the math characteristics become functions of water depth (h) and the reason for things happening changes (as least as far as the math is concerned).

: I see "Wind Waves" is an out of print book--were you able to find
: it online, or have you had it awhile?

I have had it since 1980.