Week 8 Notes v1.docx - Week 8 Notes Chapter 8 Waves and Water Dynamics Surfer riding a giant wave at Nazaré Portugal Big wave surfers are drawn to

Week 8 Notes v1.docx - Week 8 Notes Chapter 8 Waves and...

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Week 8 Notes Chapter 8 Waves and Water Dynamics Surfer riding a giant wave at Nazaré, Portugal. Big wave surfers are drawn to locations producing the largest waves, and in 2017 a new world’s record was set by Brazilian surfer Rodrigo Koxa, who successfully rode a 24.4-meter (80-foot) breaking wave at Praia do Norte beach near Nazaré, Portugal. The giant waves at this site are produced by a unique combination of oceanographic factors (see text for details). Essential Learning Concepts AT THE END OF THIS CHAPTER, YOU SHOULD BE ABLE TO: 8.1 Demonstrate an understanding of how waves are generated and how they move. 8.2 Describe the characteristics of waves. 8.3 Discuss how wind-generated waves develop. 8.4 Explain how waves change in the surf zone. 8.5 Specify the origin and characteristics of tsunami. 8.6 Evaluate the advantages and disadvantages of harnessing waves as a source of energy. “Can ye fathom the ocean, dark and deep, where the mighty waves and the grandeur sweep?” —Poet Fanny Crosby (1820–1915) What combination of oceanographic factors causes waves to reach extreme heights at places such as Praia do Norte beach, just west of the town of Nazaré along the central Portuguese coast? One factor is that this premier big wave surf spot is located offshore of a prominent point of land, which, as will be explained in this chapter, tends to concentrate wave energy due to wave refraction . Another factor is that the point juts directly into the North Atlantic Ocean, which is known for its wintertime storms and giant waves . Still another factor is the presence of an offshore submarine canyon that focuses wave energy toward the shore . Usually, open-ocean waves approaching the coastline lose some of their energy when they make contact with the shallower ocean floor, but at Nazaré, the energy of ocean waves gets funneled through this deep submarine canyon, enabling the waves to become gigantic in size right at the shoreline. These factors make the site challenging to even the most skilled surfers, who brave these waters for the thrill of catching some of the world’s most extreme waves. In fact, Praia do Norte is listed in Guinness World Records as having the biggest waves ever surfed. In November 2011, American surfer Garrett McNamara was towed via Jet Ski into a giant wave that was officially recorded as 23.8 meters (78 feet) high, which set a then-world record for the largest wave ever surfed. In November 2017, Brazilian big wave surfer Rodrigo Koxa surfed an even larger wave at Praia do Norte, which judges determined was 24.4 meters (80 feet) high. Most waves are driven by the wind and are relatively small, so they release their energy gently. However, ocean storms can build up waves to extreme heights, and when these waves come ashore, they often produce devastating effects—or, in the case at Praia do Norte beach, a wild ride. Waves are moving energy traveling along the interface between ocean and atmosphere, often transferring energy from a storm far out at sea over distances of several thousand kilometers . That’s why, even on
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  • Fall '08
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