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Physical oceanography: Waves

  1. Jun 20, 2011 #1
    A former sea captain recounts a stormy night in Atlantic when he observed waves with wavelengths of a few metres passing his 51m long ship in less than 3s. Should you believe him?

    How do we go about answering this question? I have no idea where to start from, well, we learnt about group velocity and phase speed of waves, but I don't know how to use them to answer the question?
     
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  3. Jun 20, 2011 #2

    SteamKing

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    Think about the vessel heading into the wave. If the vessel had some speed on it, would the observation about the waves make sense?
     
  4. Jun 20, 2011 #3
    hm.. i think its possible? because waves can travel at a speed of 1m/s (assuming wavelength is 3m and period=3s?)

    is tat the way to support the answer though? it seems too simple
     
  5. Jun 20, 2011 #4

    SteamKing

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    Don't you know a formula for calculating the velocity of a deep water wave given the wavelength? Remember, deep water waves of a given wavelength all travel at a certain velocity relative to a fixed reference point. An observer on a vessel is not necessarily fixed in position relative to the wave motion.
     
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