Oceanography

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Last Tuesday, we took a trip to Huntington Beach and observed the ocean, sand, waves, tides, life on shore, wind, currents, sea bedding, sediments, and the fully developed sea. It was around 4 PM when we arrived at the beach, and it was about 77 degrees Fahrenheit. The coastline of the shore is a curve that faces southwest. Winds are disturbing forces that move the waves, and they generate every time there is a density boundary. The cool winds were coming very strong from the West at 251° that it wasn’t a good day to surf at the beach. The waves are movement of energy, and the waves were about 4-6 feet high, but with such hazardous wind conditions, nobody was surfing. If they were to try to surf, the top of the wave would topple over because of the decrease in wave speed and wind.
All ocean waves are orbital; which means water molecules beneath the wave are moving in a circular motion. They get smaller as the ocean gets deeper. Much of the waves we saw were capillary waves, which are the smallest ocean waves with very small wavelengths. We calculated the period of a wave by doing 1 divided by the frequency. The waves were crashing at 0.1 seconds. The waves were coming in uneasy sets because of the increasing winds from the Santa Ana River jetties located at the South end of the beach. The cause of sets is by the wind and ocean floor bathymetry.
By using a measuring tape, we were able to determine that the swells were about 3.3 feet that day and lasted for about 10 seconds. They were coming from the South and the West. South swells are usually generated from winter storms that started in New Zealand or from small hurricanes off the Mexican coast. We suppose the swells on Tuesday came from New Zealand because by checking the weather report from New Zealand that day, there was a storm happening; bringing the cool swells to the Pacific Ocean. As we walked onto the beach, the sand looked very coarse. We figured that sedimentary rocks came onto the beach

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