HKDSE Geography/M2b/Waves

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Waves start out as ripples in the sea, which are created as winds blow over water. Water moves in an orbital motion to form waves. As waves approach shore, they will be deformed as the seabed rises.They break when their orbit comes in contact with the sea bed. After breaking, the water continues to rush up the shore as swash, and thereafter rush down the shore as backwash. Load may be deposited by swash; beach materials may be eroded by backwash.

Constructive Waves vs. Destructive Waves[edit]

Property Constructive Waves Destructive Waves
Property of Waves
Wave height Lower Taller
Wavelength Longer Shorter
Wave frequency Lower Higher
Velocity Lower Higher
Wave gradient Gentler Steeper
Swash Stronger Weaker
Backwash Weaker Stronger
Dominant Process Deposition Erosion
Wave energy Weaker Stronger
Shape of the coast
Depth of the seabed Shallower Deeper
Position of breaker Farther away from the coast Nearer to the coast
Shore gradient Gentler Steeper
Breaker type Spilling breaker Plunging breaker