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Geography

Coasts

QuestionAnswer
Define ‘wavelength’. The distance between two successive wave crests (or wave troughs)
Define ‘wave height’. This is the vertical height between the trough and the crest of a wave.
What provides waves with energy? The wind, as it blows across the sea’s surface
What three parameters control how much energy a wave gains? 1. Windspeed 2. Duration of windy conditions 3. The distance over which wind and water are in contact (the fetch)
Why does particle motion within a wave change as the wave approaches the shore? Particle motion in waves is limited to a depth of one wavelength. When the seabed is at less than one wavelength depth, the presence of the seabed changes the motion of water moving in the wave, creating a more elliptical particle motion.
What effect does this have on the following? 1. Wavelength 2. Wave height 3. Wave steepness 1. The wavelength is reduced. 2. The wave height increases. 3. The wave becomes steeper.
What are the swash and backwash? Swash: Water that rushes up the beach in an onshore direction after a wave breaks. Backwash: Water running back down the beach in an offshore direction due to the pull of gravity.
Created by: esleeman