1-3 Waves and Tides

1-3 Waves and Tides - h Chapter 1, pages 12-13 Chapter 6,...

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Chapter 1, pages 12-13 h Chapter 6, pages 267-272
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Water in constant motion h Waves, tides and currents move water horizontally and vertically These forces influence marine biota
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Range in size from ripples (cm) to 30 m h Most begin due to wind or changes in air pressure Frictional drag of wind against the sea surface
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Height increases with increasing wind speed h Fetch is the distance that wind can push waves Longer fetch, bigger waves
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Waves pass a fixed point as a series of peaks that alternate with troughs in which water molecules transcribe an elliptical path (orbit) no significant horizontal transport (a cork stays in place) How do waves work?
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Water at the surface moves the most and the diameter of the orbit is greatest h Due to frictional drag, orbits decrease in diameter with water depth h Radius = 0 at ½ L (L = wavelength or distance from crest to crest)
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As the wave approaches the shore, orbits interact with the bottom h At depth < ½ L, forward motion slows due to frictional drag on the bottom and,
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Figure 1.10 1) wavelength decreases (wave crests grow closer to each other)
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2) height (H = distance from the peak to the trough) increases and waves grow steeper h This steepness increases as waves approach the shore, and waves become unstable (break) at a depth 1.3 x H
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When waves break or strike an object, energy is released as turbulence/surge Effects greatest on intertidal communities
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Some species thrive in high energy (e.g., corals need some turbulence) h Wave surge may be harmful to residents of beaches and rocky shores
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1) Rocky shores: h Force of the waves breaking can remove biota or increase energy expenditures
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1-3 Waves and Tides - h Chapter 1, pages 12-13 Chapter 6,...

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