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Types of Ocean waves Capillary wave • capillary wave, small, free, surface-water wave with such a short wavelength that its restoring force is the water’s surface tension, which causes the wave to have a rounded crest and a V-shaped trough. The maximum wavelength of a capillary wave is 1.73 centimetres (0.68 inch Gravity waves • longer waves are controlled by gravity and are appropriately termed gravity waves. These are the normal ocean waves we are used too. Free wave • Waves that run independent of their generating force (such as impact waves) are called free waves. Impact meaning hitting things like the shore Orbital wave • The water molecules within deep water trace a series of circles that extend below the surface of the wave base. Note that an object on the surface returns to the same position with the passage of each wave. This occurs if there is no current. Wave train • A succession of wave cycles moving at the same speed and typically having the same wavelength Standing wave • Perpetual waves which remain in one place; may be caused by decelerating current when fast water meets slower-moving water, or by obstructions. Forced waves • waves that are dependent upon their generating force for their continued existence (such as the tides) are called forced waves. Orbital wave • This refers to the circular motion of the particles underneath gravity waves Transitional wave • depth is between 1/2 and 1/20 the wavelength. • • Shallow water waves exists in water <1/20 of the wavelength. Shallow water waves • Waves that occur in water less than 1/2 the wavelength interact • with the bottom and some of their characteristics are altered Gravity waves • gravity waves are waves generated in a fluid medium or at the interface between two media (e.g., the atmosphere and the ocean) which has the restoring force of gravity Deep water waves • In deep water the speed (or velocity) of a water wave depends only on its wave length. Specifically, the speed is proportional to the square root of the wavelength. Thus, the longer the wave length, the faster the wave, or vice versa. Deep water waves • http://users.dickinson.edu/~richesod/waves/d eep/deepapplet.html Spilling Wave • When a wave moves towards the shore the circular form becomes elliptical. When waves of long wave length and low height approach a gently sloping beach, the ellipse becomes horizontal. When the waves break, the swash sweeps up the beach as a sheet of water often reaching the upper beach. Most of the swash soaks into the beach which means that there is very little backwash. Waves of this type are called constructive or spilling waves.