On evolution of young wind waves in time and space

Lev Shemer*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


The mechanisms governing the evolution of the wind-wave field in time and in space are not yet fully understood. Various theoretical approaches have been offered to model wind-wave generation. To examine their validity, detailed and accurate experiments under controlled conditions have to be carried out. Since it is next to impossible to get the required control of the governing parameters and to accumulate detailed data in field experiments, laboratory studies are needed. Extensive previously unavailable results on the spatial and temporal variation of wind waves accumulated in our laboratory under a variety of wind-forcing conditions and using diverse measuring techniques are reviewed. The spatial characteristics of the wind-wave field were determined using stereo video imaging. The turbulent airflow above wind waves was investigated using an X-hot film. The wave field under steady wind forcing as well as evolving from rest under impulsive loading was studied. An extensive discussion of the various aspects of wind waves is presented from a single consistent viewpoint. The advantages of the stochastic approach suggested by Phillips over the deterministic theory of wind-wave generation introduced by Miles are demonstrated. Essential differences between the spatial and the temporal analyses of wind waves’ evolution are discussed, leading to examination of the applicability of possible approaches to wind-wave modeling.

Original languageEnglish
Article number562
Issue number9
StatePublished - Sep 2019


  • Air/sea interaction
  • Laser slope gauge
  • Stereo video imaging
  • Wave dispersion and inhomogeneity
  • Wind waves
  • Wind-wave modeling
  • Wind-wave statistics


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