A Comparison of the Wave-Induced Momentum Flux to Breaking and Nonbreaking Waves

  • M. L. Banner


This chapter describes some initial laboratory measurements which compare the surface pressure distributions over broken and unbroken waves. The resulting normal stress wave-coherent momentum flux levels are found to be enhanced by an order of magnitude due to wave breaking. Estimates are obtained for the strength of this effect as a function of (u */c). The findings of Okuda et al. (1977) on the distribution of skin friction along wind-wave profiles are reviewed in the present context. The chapter concludes with the possible relevance of these findings to modulated shear stress in the explicably large microwave backscattering modulation levels observed by Wright et al. (1980).


Wind Stress Skin Friction Momentum Flux Wind Wave Breaking Wave 
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Copyright information

© Plenum Press, New York 1986

Authors and Affiliations

  • M. L. Banner
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Theoretical and Applied MechanicsUniversity of New South WalesSydneyAustralia

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