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Predicting the breaking onset of surface water waves

Babanin, Alexander V; Chalikov, Dmitry; Young, Ian R; Savelyev, Ivan


Why do ocean waves break? Understanding this important and obvious property of the ocean surface has been elusive for decades. This paper investigates causes which lead deep-water two-dimensional initially monochromatic waves to break. Individual wave steepness is found to be the single parameter which determines whether the wave will break immediately, never break or take a finite number of wave lengths to break. The breaking will occur once the wave reaches the Stokes limiting steepness. The...[Show more]

CollectionsANU Research Publications
Date published: 2007-04-10
Type: Journal article
Source: Geophysical Research Letters 34.7 (2007): L07605/1-6
DOI: 10.1029/2006GL029135


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