What Are the Types of Water Waves?


Quick Answer

Water waves are generally classified as deep-water waves or shallow-water waves. Deep-water waves are produced through oscillation, occurring when the water depth surpasses half the length of the waves. Shallow-water waves meanwhile, are generated through translation, occurring when the depth of water is less than 1/20 of the length of the waves.

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Full Answer

Waves are also categorized according to how they break the water's surface, which include plunging breakers, spilling breakers and surging breakers. The types of wind-induced waves are capillary waves, whose motion is changed by the water's surface tension, and gravity waves, which are influenced by the force of gravity. Other kinds of waves include tides, storm surges, seiches and internal waves.

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