UCSB Science Line
Sponge Spicules Nerve Cells Galaxy Abalone Shell Nickel Succinate X-ray Lens Lupine
UCSB Science Line
Home
How it Works
Ask a Question
Search Topics
Webcasts
Our Scientists
Science Links
Contact Information
What causes the waves in the ocean?
Answer 1:

Well, what is a wave: A wave is an undulating (rolling and falling) disturbance that moves across the sea surface.
Now, waves form and dissipate (go away) as a result of disturbing forces: The most common disturbing force is energy transferred to the sea surface by the wind. Other disturbing forces could be earthquakes, landslides, and volcano eruptions. They can trigger very large waves like tsunamis.

Waves are complicated phenomena. For example, when a wave travels, it propagates energy but there is no real transfer of mass.
The wave size depends on the wind speed, the length of time that the wind blows and the distance over which wind and water interact. Obviously, the faster and longer the wind blows, the bigger the waves and the more energy they possess.


Click Here to return to the search form.

University of California, Santa Barbara Materials Research Laboratory National Science Foundation
This program is co-sponsored by the National Science Foundation and UCSB School-University Partnerships
Copyright © 2015 The Regents of the University of California,
All Rights Reserved.
UCSB Terms of Use