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Journal of Geophysical Research: Oceans

Predicting wave-induced ripple equilibrium geometry

Authors

  • Timothy Robert Nelson,

    Corresponding author
    1. Department of Earth and Ocean Sciences, College of Arts and Sciences, University of South Carolina, Columbia, South Carolina, USA
    • Corresponding author: T. R. Nelson, Department of Earth and Ocean Sciences, College of Arts and Sciences, University of South Carolina, Columbia, SC 29208, USA. (tnelson@geol.sc.edu)

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  • George Voulgaris,

    1. Department of Earth and Ocean Sciences, Marine Science Program, College of Arts and Sciences, University of South Carolina, Columbia, South Carolina, USA
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  • Peter Traykovski

    1. Applied Ocean Physics & Engineering Department, Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, Woods Hole, Massachusetts, USA
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Abstract

[1] A comprehensive database of existing (since 1954) field and laboratory measurements of ripple geometry is compiled and combined with newly collected field data to examine the performance of ripple equilibrium predictors. Reanalysis of this enlarged ripple geometry data set reveals that ripples formed from monochromatic waves scale differently than ripples formed from random waves for many existing ripple predictors. Our analysis indicates that ripple wavelengths from the two data sets collapse into a single scaling when the semiorbital excursion and sediment grain diameter are used as normalizing factors. Ripple steepness remains relatively constant for both regular and irregular wave conditions, and it only slightly increases for shorter ripple wavelengths. These findings allowed for the development of a new equilibrium ripple predictor suitable for application in a wide range of wave and sediment conditions.

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