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Circle motion in water waves

  1. Dec 13, 2008 #1
    Why do the water particles in a water wave, move in circular paths? What's the exact mechanics behind that motion? See this page for a nice pic of the motion:

    http://www.kettering.edu/~drussell/Demos/waves/wavemotion.html#water

    Also, why does this motion, ultimately lead to a propagation of a wave, once a disturbance has occured?
     
  2. jcsd
  3. Dec 13, 2008 #2

    russ_watters

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    Staff: Mentor

    In short: in order for the water level in one spot to rise, water must flow in from nearby.
     
  4. Dec 13, 2008 #3
    Check out Svendsen's Introduction to Nearshore Hydrodynamics. He has several excellent selections on water wave theory.
     
  5. Dec 13, 2008 #4
    Okey. But why circular? Why not just vertical like in a rope? And what pushes the water, leading to this flow?

    Ouh, pretty advanced stuff. Didn't make me much wiser at the topic... :yuck:
     
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