1. Originally Posted by pvjumper05
your logic suggests that in order to touch the bottom, we would need a 100ft swell...

lol im letting you slide with this one md only cause knowing your knowledge of the ocean i think you are f-ing with us
no, thats not what I'm saying.... The waves that we surf, eventually all feel the bottom. This is what creates a breaking wave as the wave energy interacts with the bottom, the wave becomes unstable and topples over.

2. Originally Posted by pvjumper05
your logic suggests that in order to touch the bottom, we would need a 100ft swell...

lol im letting you slide with this one md only cause knowing your knowledge of the ocean i think you are f-ing with us
the swell height does not show far the wave energy travels in depth. It is actually only a factor of the wavelength (or wave period).

Depth(ft) = Period*Period * 2.56ft , where period is in seconds.

10 sec period => 256 ft
12 sec period => 369 ft.
14 sec period => 502 ft.
16 sec period => 655 ft.
18 sec period => 829 ft.
20 sec period => 1024 ft

The continental shelf has depth of approx 460 ft.

What happens is the swell traveling at the top of the surface, creates an orbital motion in the water molecules that has the diameter of the wavelength. And, due to friction, this orbital motion interacts with the water below the wave... The bigger the swell, the bigger the orbital motion, and the further in depth the wave energy travels. I wish I had an illustration to show here, but its is some textbook that I dont feel like scanning at 2:30am.
Last edited by Swellinfo; Sep 11, 2010 at 07:36 AM.

3. Originally Posted by Swellinfo
the swell height does not show far the wave energy travels in depth. It is actually only a factor of the wavelength (or wave period).

Depth(ft) = Period*Period * 2.56ft , where period is in seconds.

10 sec period => 256 ft
12 sec period => 369 ft.
14 sec period => 502 ft.
16 sec period => 655 ft.
18 sec period => 829 ft.
20 sec period => 1024 ft

The continental shelf has depth of approx 460 ft.

What happens is the swell traveling at the top of the surface, creates an orbital motion in the water molecules that has the diameter of the wavelength. And, due to friction, this orbital motion interacts with the water below the wave... The bigger the swell, the bigger the orbital motion, and the further in depth the wave energy travels. I wish I had an illustration to show here, but its is some textbook that I dont feel like scanning at 2:30am.

lol no no no micah, i was talking to MD and making fun. i know that ^^

4. Originally Posted by MDSurfer
<<because all swells interact with the ocean bottom>>

So you're saying that a 1' swell makes contact with the bottom in the Baltimore Canyon?
ok, lets rephrase that... All breaking waves interact with the ocean bottom - the waves we surf. Its just a matter at what depth.

5. Junior Member
Join Date
Feb 2009
Posts
14
Originally Posted by Swellinfo
the swell height does not show far the wave energy travels in depth. It is actually only a factor of the wavelength (or wave period).

Depth(ft) = Period*Period * 2.56ft , where period is in seconds.

10 sec period => 256 ft
12 sec period => 369 ft.
14 sec period => 502 ft.
16 sec period => 655 ft.
18 sec period => 829 ft.
20 sec period => 1024 ft

The continental shelf has depth of approx 460 ft.

What happens is the swell traveling at the top of the surface, creates an orbital motion in the water molecules that has the diameter of the wavelength. And, due to friction, this orbital motion interacts with the water below the wave... The bigger the swell, the bigger the orbital motion, and the further in depth the wave energy travels. I wish I had an illustration to show here, but its is some textbook that I dont feel like scanning at 2:30am.
Thank you for posting that. I read that a long time ago along with other facts and info about how waves interact with the ocean floor. Anyway, that stuff is really interesting to learn about and I would link what e-book or whatever it was but it has been such a long time, i have no idea what it was called or where i found it.

6. ## Yep

Originally Posted by Swellinfo
ok, lets rephrase that... All breaking waves interact with the ocean bottom - the waves we surf. Its just a matter at what depth.
Wiley would approve, thanks for the clarification.

Last edited by MDSurfer; Sep 11, 2010 at 02:18 PM.