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Whitecap coverage of the sea surface

  • Stanisław R. Massel
Part of the ATMOSPHERIC AND OCEANOGRAPHIC SCIENCES LIBRARY book series (ATSL, volume 38)

Abstract

Breaking waves appearing in the form of whitecaps represent a very familiar yet poorly understood feature of the wind-driven sea surface. They are formed when large numbers of bubbles produced by a wave rise to the surface, and the bright white area of a whitecap arises from multiple light scattering by elements of size comparable to or greater than the wavelength of visible light. These elements are clusters of proximate, closely packed bubbles at or near the surface. In this book, the concept of statistically steady fractional coverage, i.e. the percentage of the sea surface covered by whitecaps at a given time, with a close relationship between the wave breaking area and whitecap coverage, is used. It includes the determination of the energy dissipation rate at breaking and the relationships between energy loss and gas and aerosol transfer.

Keywords

Wind Speed Wave Breaking Wave Crest Wind Energy Input JONSWAP Spectrum 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

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Copyright information

© Springer 2007

Authors and Affiliations

  • Stanisław R. Massel
    • 1
  1. 1.Institute of Oceanology of the PolishAcademy of Sciences, SopotPoland

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