Details: This poster shows a large ocean wave crashing against a cliff.
Ocean surface waves are surface waves that occur on the free surface of the ocean. They usually result from wind, and are also referred to as wind waves. Some waves can travel thousands of miles before reaching land. They range in size from small ripples to huge rogue waves. There is little actual forward motion of individual water particles in a wave, despite the large amount of energy it may carry forward. Some waves undergo a phenomenon called breaking . A breaking wave is one whose base can no longer support its top, causing it to collapse. A wave breaks when it runs into shallow water, or when two wave systems oppose and combine forces.