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Wave equation derivation for ocean waves

  1. Mar 22, 2012 #1
    Hi there,

    I'm a mechanical engineering student who's extremely interested in going into physical oceanography after finishing undergrad.

    I'm trying to find a good source for the wave equation as it relates to physical oceanography, as well as orbital paths of particles, and have yet to find one. Mechanical vibrations and differential equations have taught me about the wave equation as it relates to engineering, and specifically material mechanics, but I'm having a hard time relating it to fluids and ocean waves.

    Does anybody have any good explanations or sources for the derivation?

  2. jcsd
  3. Mar 22, 2012 #2


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    Gold Member

    swedishfishh, Welcome to Physics Forums!

    These sites may help you find some answers:

    "More recently, significant wave-height is calculated from measured wave displacement. If the sea contains a narrow range of wave frequencies, H1/3 is related to the standard deviation of sea-surface displacement (NAS, 1963: 22; Hoffman and Karst, 1975) (equation)(16.13)
    where (equation) is the standard deviation of surface displacement. This relationship is much more useful, and it is now the accepted way to calculate wave-height from wave measurements.



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