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Title: The use of aerial photography in the study of wave characteristics in the coastal zone
Authors: McClenan, Cecil M.
Keywords: Aerial photography in oceanography
Ocean waves
Publisher: Coastal Engineering Research Center (U.S.)
Series/Report no.: Technical memorandum;no. 48
Abstract: Abstract: Aerial photos can provide information about the geometry of the ocean surface not readily obtainable in any other manner. Photos reveal information about the number of wave trains present, the bending of wave crests due to refraction effects by both bottom topography and currents, and the existence of many nonlinear processes with regard to waves, some of which are rarely discussed in textbooks or oceanographic literature. Good aerial photos of waves shows that multiple wave trains are common in the coastal zone. The relative importance of the various wave trains is changed by refraction and shoaling. The breakers, most prominent in the shore zone, often result from long, low swell, which is hardly discernable against the background of shorter waves a few hundred meters from shore. The generation of solitions and the regeneration of breakers which have crossed bars may lead to a breaker which is shorter than the period of the swell responsible for the breakers. Cylindrical waves radiating outward from rocks or shoals which penetrate the surface are formed from long-crested waves coming from the open sea. A wave pattern which appears random and chaotic when viewed on photos taken at a low elevation may appear to be highly organized when viewed at an elevation over 5,000 feet. This report discusses conditions which favor good aerial photos of waves and presents examples of many phenomena in wave behavior which are best seen from the perspective afforded by a high elevation.
Description: Technical Memorandum
Rights: Approved for public release; distribution is unlimited.
Appears in Collections:Technical Memorandum

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