Refraction of surface gravity waves by shear waves
Henderson, Stephen M.
Guza, R. T.
Herbers, T. H. C.
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Previous field observations indicate that the directional spread of swell-frequency (nominally 0.1 Hz) surface gravity waves increases during shoreward propagation across the surf zone. This directional broadening contrasts with the narrowing observed seaward of the surf zone and predicted by Snell’s law for bathymetric refraction. Field-observed broadening was predicted by a new model for refraction of swell by lower-frequency (nominally 0.01 Hz) current and elevation fluctuations. The observations and the model suggest that refraction by the cross-shore currents of energetic shear waves contributed substantially to the observed broadening.
Author Posting. © American Meteorological Society, 2006. This article is posted here by permission of American Meteorological Society for personal use, not for redistribution. The definitive version was published in Journal of Physical Oceanography 36 (2006): 629-635, doi:10.1175/JPO2890.1.