Does wind determine waves?

Does wind determine waves?

Wave height is affected by wind speed, wind duration (or how long the wind blows), and fetch, which is the distance over water that the wind blows in a single direction. If wind speed is slow, only small waves result, regardless of wind duration or fetch.

What effect does wind have on ocean profiles?

As energy is transferred from the wind to the ocean, the surface becomes rougher and ‘stretched’, so more of the surface is in contact with the wind (Figure 16b). The increased surface area leads to more energy being transferred to the ocean and larger surface waves.

Why is wind important to the ocean?

Ocean surface winds play a vital role in the water cycle as the tropical Pacific Ocean and overlying atmosphere react with, and influence each other. Easterly surface winds along the equator control the quantity and temperature of the water that upwells (moves or flows upward) to the surface.

How does the ocean influence wind speed and direction?

A wind blowing for 10 hours across the ocean will cause the surface waters to flow at about 2% of the wind speed. Water will pile up in the direction the wind is blowing. Gravity will tend to pull the water down the “hill” or pile of water against the pressure gradient.

How does wind create all the ocean currents?

The water at the ocean surface is moved primarily by winds that blow in certain patterns because of the Earth s spin and the Coriolis Effect. Winds are able to move the top 400 meters of the ocean creating surface ocean currents. Surface ocean currents form large circular patterns called gyres .

How does wind affect ocean waves?

The winds cause waves on the surface of the ocean (and on lakes). The wind transfers some of its energy to the water, through friction between the air molecules and the water molecules. Stronger winds (like storm surges) cause larger waves.

What are Ocean and wind currents both caused by?

Ocean currents can be caused by wind, density differences in water masses caused by temperature and salinity variations, gravity, and events such as earthquakes or storms . Currents are cohesive streams of seawater that circulate through the ocean.