Shallow Water Waves


Figure 1:   Edited from

Image courtesy of Chris DuRoss of University of Montana Dept. of Geology



Shallow water waves are characterized by the depth of the water being at least 20 times smaller than the wavelength of the wave. This makes the orbits of the water molecules to be essentially flat, especially at the bottom of the ocean. This way, it preserves most of its energy while traveling over a flat surface since it the movement of the water is almost parallel to the surface and friction is very small.