Free Infragravity Waves in the North Sea

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Infragravity waves are low-frequency surface waves that can impact a variety of nearshore and oceanic processes. Recent measurements in the North Sea showed that significant bursts of infragravity energy occurred during storm events. Using a spectral wave model, we show that a substantial part of this energy was radiated from distant shorelines where it was generated by the incident sea-swell waves. These radiated infragravity waves can cross the North Sea basin and reach distant shorelines. The origin of the infragravity wave energy varied between the different storms, and particularly depends on where largest sea-swell waves made landfall. Along the coastlines of the North Sea, shoreward directed infragravity waves that originate from a remote source were non-negligible during storm events. This suggests that radiated infragravity waves can potentially contribute to coastal dynamics and hazards away from their region of generation.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere2021JC017368
Number of pages14
JournalJournal of Geophysical Research: Oceans
Issue number8
Publication statusPublished - 2021


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