Particle Motion Under Stokes Waves

by Eliezer Kit,
Michael Stiassnie,

Serial Information: Journal of the Waterway, Port, Coastal and Ocean Division, 1981, Vol. 107, Issue 3, Pg. 202-204

Document Type: Journal Paper


The Eulerian mean velocity (averaged over a wave period) at any point below the wave troughs is exactly zero, thus causing zero mean mass flux across any vertical control section between the bottom and a fixed point deeper than the troughs. The Lagrangian mean velocity of all water particles is a nonzero second order quantity, and is always in the wave propagation direction. At first sight, it seems justified to ask, as probably many students do, how can it be that while all individual particles move forward, the mean mass flux across the control section remains zero? In the present note we present, what is hoped to be, a clear and descriptive answer to this question.

Subject Headings: Wave velocity | Motion (dynamics) | Particle velocity | Lagrangian functions | Water management | Wave propagation | Students | Particles

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