Encyclopedia of Solid Earth Geophysics

Living Edition
| Editors: Harsh K. Gupta


  • Steven N. WardEmail author
Living reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-030-10475-7_22-1



Characteristic of waves whose velocity of propagation depends on wave frequency. The shape of a dispersive wave packet changes as it moves along.


Functional shape of the horizontal and vertical components of wave motion versus depth in the ocean for a specific wave frequency.

Geometrical spreading

Process of amplitude reduction resulting from the progressive expansion of a wave from its source.


Final phase of tsunami life starting when the wave shoals to a size equal to the water depth and begins to break, and ending when the water runs over land and reaches its highest level.


Process of waves coming into shallow water. Shoaling waves slow, shorten their wavelength, and grow in size.


Wavenumber k equals 2π divided by wavelength λ. Large wavenumbers associate with short waves and small wavenumbers associate with long waves.

Tsunami are gravity-driven water waves. They belong to the same family as common sea waves that we see...

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© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2020

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Institute of Geophysics and Planetary PhysicsUniversity of California at Santa CruzSanta CruzUSA