How do water waves change when they move from shallow to deep water?

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How do they refract and why, also do they change speed?

Posted Mon 6th May, 2013 @ 13:49 by Jess

1 Answer

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Water waves will refract when they slow down, in the same way as light waves. Water waves travel slower in shallower water. The deeper the water the faster the waves can travel, in fact in the ocean waves speeds can sometimes approach hundreds of miles per hour.


Refraction of water waves happens for the same reason as light waves. If one side of the wave hits a shallow region before the other side it makes the wave change direction.

Answered Mon 21st April, 2014 @ 15:11 by Aliya:)
Edited by Aliya:) on Mon 21st April, 2014 @ 15:12