Author: Kern E. Kenyon
A physical explanation is given for the observations that ocean surface gravity waves can travel up to half way around the world from generation in a wind storm to dissipation on shore. Inherent in these waves is an orbital fluid particle motion, known from laboratory experiments, that has no friction according to the Navier-Stokes equations. The prediction is based on application of Bernoulli’s law to all the closed orbital paths of the fluid particles and the cross-stream force balance on the particles between a pressure gradient and the centrifugal force in each orbital loop.
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