julio 19, 2015

Wave types

The waves are the means by which energy moves, in Figure 3 can be seen a brief description of the different types of sea waves and their ability to transport energy.

TypesOfWave_03Source: Encyclopedia Britannica, Inc.

As seen in Figure 3 the waves caused by the wind are of higher energy content and hence are those destined to obtain this energy.

Reasons of their formation

  • The displacements that occur due to the attraction exerted on the oceanic masses by both the sun and the moon;the result are the tides.
  • The temperature variation modifies the atmospheric pressure, which in turn generates large air displacement in the form of all kinds of storms.
  • The occurrence of seismic events and volcanic eruptions generate large undulating movements which propagate great distances.


  • Waves
  • Swell
  • Surf
  • Rip


  • Superficial
  • Internal: They appear below the surface due to the variation of the density of water.
  • Progressive: Their crests move in one direction.
  • Stationary: They stay in one place.

Duration of a wave

  • Wind: 0 to 500 seconds
  • Storm 50 to 500 seconds
  • Tsunami: 500 s to 6 hours
  • Tides: every 6 hours

Figure 4 depicts the basic parameter definitions in the simplest model of water waves


Considering the corpuscular characteristics of the waves, Figure 5 shows the circular path of a particle on the sea surface.