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Can a water wave

  1. Mar 7, 2005 #1
    Can a water wave be a longitudinal wave?
  2. jcsd
  3. Mar 7, 2005 #2
    Of course. Sonars, two people "talking" to each other underwater, knocking on top of a can of soup, knocking on ice, when fish bump into each other etc.

    Transverse water waves are mostly apparent on the surface and during tsunami-like events asaik. Moving a water molecule up and down should cause a transverse wave along the normal plane, a longitudinal one along its oscillating axis, and a combination of both at 0 < angle < 90 degrees.
  4. Mar 7, 2005 #3


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    Longitudinal wave forms in water other than the sound wave option, might possibly be induced by spatially varying surface tension.
    Last edited: Mar 7, 2005
  5. Mar 7, 2005 #4

    Andrew Mason

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    Surface waves are a combination of longitudinal and transverse motion. There is significant longitudinal movement in shallow water waves (where the ratio of wavelength/depth is significant). Tsunamis cause a huge longitudinal movement of water, as we all know.

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