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- Maximum steepness of oceanic waves: field and laboratory experiments
- Toffoli, A.; Babanin, A.; Onorato, M.; Waseda, T.
- The breaking of waves is an important mechanism for a number of physical, chemical and biological processes in the ocean. Intuitively, waves break when they become too steep. Unfortunately, a general consensus on the ultimate shape of waves has not been achieved yet due to the complexity of the breaking mechanism which still remains the least understood of all processes affecting waves. To estimate the limiting shape of ocean waves, here we present a statistical analysis of a large sample of individual wave steepness. Data were collected from measurements of the surface elevation in laboratory facilities and the open sea under a variety of sea state conditions. Observations reveal that waves are able to reach steeper profiles than the Stokes' limit for stationary waves. Due to the large number of records this finding is statistically robust.
- Publication type
- Journal article
- Research centre
- Swinburne University of Technology. Faculty of Engineering and Industrial Sciences
- Geophysical Research Letters, Vol. 37 (Mar 2010)
- Publication year
- FOR Code(s)
- 0201 Astronomical and Space Sciences; 0404 Geophysics
- Breaking waves; Wave steepness
- American Geophysical Union
- Publisher URL
- Copyright © 2010 American Geophysical Union. Published version of the paper reproduced here in accordance with the copyright policy of the publisher.
- Research Projects
- Additional information
- Data from North‐West Australia (North Rankin Platform) were kindly made available by Jason McConochie (Woodside Energy Ltd.).
- Full text
- Peer reviewed