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Further Investigations: Sea States

  1. Learn more about rogue waves. Under what conditions do they form? Find examples of rogue wave encounters with ships at sea.
  2. Construct your own wave bottle. Use two liquids that do not mix readily, such as water and oil. Fill one third of the bottle with oil. Tint water with food coloring, and fill the bottle with the tinted water until it just overflows. Cap the bottle, allowing no air bubbles inside. To produce waves, rock the bottle back and forth; use different rocking frequencies to generate various types of waves and sea states.
  3. Collect or prepare a series of photographs showing as many features as you can about various sea states. Describe the wind and weather conditions shown in the photographs. Categorize each photograph by sea states according to Table 4.5.
  4. Read a book, a short story, or a poem that describes a great storm at sea. Tell how the author is able to make the reader visualize the storm and the resulting waves.
  5. Some surfers claim that waves always come in sets of seven. Research this claim. Explain why you agree or disagree with this statement.
  6. Research waterspouts. How do they form? Where do they occur? How are they similar and different than tornados?


Exploring Our Fluid Earth, a product of the Curriculum Research & Development Group (CRDG), College of Education. University of Hawaii, 2011. This document may be freely reproduced and distributed for non-profit educational purposes.