Whitecap coverage of the sea surface
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.
KeywordsWind Speed Wave Breaking Wave Crest Wind Energy Input JONSWAP Spectrum
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