Wave Generation, Propagation and Dissipation

  • M. L. Khandekar
Part of the Coastal and Estuarine Studies book series (COASTAL, volume 33)


The problem of wave generation by wind has attracted the attention of naturalists, philosophers and scientists alike, for several centuries. In the historical past, the Greek philosopher Aristotle (384–322 B.C.) recognized the importance of wind on wave generation while the Italian naturalist and historian Pliny (Pliny the Elder, 23–79 A.D.) observed the sobering effect of an oil layer on the surface water waves. The versatile Leonardo da Vinci made some interesting observations of wave fields and wave groups around 1500 while the great mathematician Euler proposed in 1755 that the best way to obtain the general solution of the fluid motion and in particular of wave motion was to consider several special cases and build a suitable basis for further development. The American statesman and scientific explorer, Benjamin Franklin made laboratory observations (in 1762) of waves of long periods of oscillations at the interface of oil and water; later (in 1774) Franklin and his co-workers while making observations of wind waves recorded that “Air in motion, which is wind, in passing over the smooth surface of the water, may rub, as it were, upon the surface and raise it into wrinkles which, if wind continues are the elements of future waves.”


Wind Speed Gravity Wave Water Wave Fluid Mechanics Wind Wave 
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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag New York, Inc. 1989

Authors and Affiliations

  • M. L. Khandekar
    • 1
  1. 1.Atmospheric Environment ServiceDownsviewCanada

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