Initial Publication Date: May 4, 2012

Coastal Wave Mechanics

Compiled by Mark Francek (more info) at Carleton College (more info) (SERC) and Central Michigan University (more info)

Find animations and movies depicting how waves and water molecules behave along the shore and in deep water settings.

The complete set of Visualization Collections is available.

Orbital Motion in Deep Water, Exploring Earth ( This site may be offline. ) This Flash animation illustrates wave motion, or the movement of energy through water. Users can stop, play, fast forward and rewind the animation at any time. This visualization is one of several animations in a series developed as a component of Exploring Earth, a website that supports the textbook Earth Science.

Waves, Beaches, and Coasts Animations (more info) A relatively simple Flash animation contrasting sediment transport during winter and summer. The summer is characterized by lower energy, longer wavelengths, and sediment accumulating on the beach face. In contrast, the storms of winter create higher energy waves, shorter wavelengths, and sediment deposited as bars offshore. Access the animation by clicking on the "Seasonal Cycle of a Beach" link.

Global Wave Power thumbnail image
Marine Animations This set of animations from the Community Surface Dynamics Modeling System (CSDMS) group contains movies of various wave processes. Movies include global wave height, global wave power, and model runs of a global wave model.