MONDAY SEPTEMBER 18 - INTRODUCTION TO WAVES


As we get ready to say goodbye to summer, we're taking our Franklin Facts on the road to try to squeeze out just a few more days at the beach. And while we're here at the Delaware shore, we'll tackle topics such as waves, tides, rip currents, and some of the more famous storms that have helped shape the coast.

Waves are constantly modifying the shoreline. These waves are whipped up by the winds from storms and by locally-produced winds, such as the sea breeze. When the wind strengthens, waves increase in height. So the longer the wind blows, and the greater the stretch of water it blows over, the higher the waves.

Consider this: if 10 waves per minute break on the shore, that's more than 14,000 a day, and more than 100,000 per week. And a typical Atlantic wave during the winter packs a punch of nearly one ton per square foot. At the shore, a nearly irresistible force meets an almost immovable object.

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