Hydrodynamic forces and surface topography: Centimeter-scale spatial variation in wave forces

O'Donnell, Michael J., Mark W. Denny

Limnol. Oceanogr., 53(2), 2008, 579-588 | DOI: 10.4319/lo.2008.53.2.0579

ABSTRACT: We measured the variability in hydrodynamic forces among locations separated by only centimeters along three horizontal transects on a steep rocky shore. Our results extend previous work showing that wave forces have the characteristics of 1/f-noise, in which variability in wave forces decreases exponentially with decreasing scales of measurement. Furthermore, our results suggest that protection from hydrodynamic forces is not a certain consequence of a rugose substratum, suggesting that investigators should directly test (rather than assume) small-scale topographic protection from hydrodynamic forces.

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