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THE SCIENCE OF OCEAN WAVES

The Science of Ocean Waves

 
 Author(s)                

J. B. Zirker
 Publisher John Hopkins University Press
 Date 2013
 Pages 241
 Format epub
 Size 5.5 Mb


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   Some of my best memories of Hawaii are of watching the surfers at the Banzai Pipeline, on the north shore of Oahu, In the months between November and January, waves 10 meters (m) high or more roll in majestically, curl, and break with awesome power. These waves draw a dedicated band of top-flight surfers, who come to compete or just to test their skills. But come back during a gale and see the power of the Ocean when it is fully aroused by strong winds. Then the surf is really spectacular, with breakers that crash with a sonic boom and flood up the beach, carrying everything before them. In a hurricane, it is not worth your life to remain too near the shore. Powerful ocean waves fascinate the public, and they have made a lot of news lately. We all remember the terrible loss of life and property that Hurricane Katrina caused in 2005. Much of the damage on the Gulf Coast was caused by battering waves that rode up a storm surge to a height of 9 m. Then there was the tsunami launched by the great Sumatran earthquake in December 2004. At Aceh, near the epicenter, a wave of 30m (98ft) crashed onshore and obliterated the town. This impulsive wave crossed the Indian Ocean and killed over 200,000 people in 14 countries. But the great tsunami that crushed the shore of Japan in March 2011 and inundated the Fukushima nuclear power plant was in some ways the scariest of recent events. The combination of a magnitude 9.0 earthquake, a 10-m tsunami, and the prospect of a core meltdown was a scenario usually seen only in science fiction...

Category: MARINE SCIENCE & OCEANOGRAPHY | Views: 1459 |
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