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The ocean is a vast and seemingly endless portion of the Earth. In the fact, there were myths that the ocean never ended and if it did it was the edge of the world. This is thanks to the enormous size of the ocean and the different regions it spreads to. On top of covering a huge space of land, the ocean is also incredibly deep. It spreads several kilometers under the surface to points some people have never been to. Human beings have gone to the moon more times than the bottom of the ocean. This is because of the harsh conditions and high risks to go down that deep in the ocean.

4 Different Types Of Ocean Waves

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What we do know about the ocean is how the different species interact with each other. What parts of the ocean help make most of the rivers that end up on land. Finally, recent research has also enlightened us on the unique types of waves. It is interesting to think about how many different types of waves there are and what they do. Research has shown that waves are caused by different things and have specific properties. Below are the characteristics of a wave as well as a few examples of some.

Characteristics Of Waves

A wave is made up of many different parts that are labeled and summarized below.

Crest And Trough

The crest and trough represent the highest and lowest points of the wave respectively. They are the two main indicators of the size of the wave and can determine what the cause was too. The distance between the crest or the trough to the water is known as amplitude.

Period And Frequency

The period of a wave is on average the time taken for a wave to go through the vibrational cycle. In simple terms, it is when the entire process of a wave from start to finish has been completed. The frequency of a wave refers to the number of waves that are completed in a given time.

1. Swell Waves

The formation of Swell waves focuses on a strong foundation to ensure longevity. Wind energy that has accumulated under the surface of the water is the reason for this formation. These waves are created via the accumulated energy and often start from a little under the surface.

The unique characteristics of Swell waves are the longevity and sturdiness of these waves. The energy makes sure these waves are not easily stopped. The height and shape of the waves are maintained throughout the ocean with almost perfection. The lengths these waves travel to before deforming is also highly impressive. Most of these waves are only stopped when coming into contact with the surface.

2. Wind Waves

These waves are one of the most common types of waves and are formed in stormy areas. The main cause of the formation of these waves is the wind. During a mild storm, the wind that comes into contact with the water creates these waves. These types of waves can most commonly be spotted during heavy storms.

The height and amplitude of these waves are variable and can be large or small. Similarly, the shape of the wave is commonly changing and sometimes can deform soon too. The larger wind waves created are known to follow a pattern or route. This route is determined by the direction the strong winds are going. Research has shown that these wind waves follow the wind towards their destination.

3. Tsunamis

Arguably the most feared and popular amongst the different types of waves. Tsunamis are well known for their destructive capabilities and ginormous size. Tsunamis are formed due to natural phenomena such as earthquakes or eruptions. These shake the plates underwater and lead to a disturbance on the surface. Another common cause of these high waves is due to global warming and climate change. The increased warmth in colder areas leads to lots of ice and snow melting. Glaciers that are affected can also be the cause of large Tsunamis.

Tsunamis are one of the largest compared to all other waves. There have been entire movies centered around Tsunamis and their destructibility. While these may have been over-fetched in reality Tsunamis are also very deadly. What adds to the deadliness is that Tsunamis are also very unpredictable. They cannot be detected most times and by the time they are, it is too late.


The introduction to waves and the different types of waves is not useless information. Waves are used as a form of statistics and measurement in mathematics. Recent research has also shown that waves can be converted into a form of energy. Perhaps the most important reason why the study of waves is necessary is safety. Watercrafts and docks are dependants on the quality and types of waves crashing against them.

Watercraft need to plan their entire route depending on the ocean surface and types of waves. Similarly, docks that need to be constructed are directly affected by the strength of waves. Fewer study docks may prove to be unsafe and inadequate. In comparison, portable docks such as a drive-on boat dock system should be adaptable. We hope you have learned a new thing or two about waves and their different types.

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