What do you call the leading waves and activity leading before a large wave?

  • 3
    $\begingroup$ Can you add more context? What kind of wave? Wavefront is a terminology that could apply. $\endgroup$ Feb 8, 2018 at 19:52
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    $\begingroup$ @CamiloRada it's tagged with 'ocean', so It's probably about waves in the ocean. $\endgroup$
    – Eevee
    Feb 8, 2018 at 21:27
  • $\begingroup$ After more research, is the correct answer 'Capillary Waves'? If this is too vague please close it, my apologies $\endgroup$
    – J-Dizzle
    Feb 8, 2018 at 23:15
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    $\begingroup$ I'll give it an upvote, you'll get a badge for answering your own question with an answer score of 3 or more (that is if it's correct...) I'll just have to wait for @CamiloRada to check it for accuracy. :) $\endgroup$
    – Eevee
    Feb 8, 2018 at 23:36
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    $\begingroup$ I don't know much about ocean waves, nor Capillary waves. Buy if you answer with a good and convincing explanation with references. I would most likely upvote it too. $\endgroup$ Feb 8, 2018 at 23:42

1 Answer 1


Here is what I found if useful for others -

Oceanic Wave Clarification

Wave position in space (x,y) and in time (t) are different concepts

Ocean waves in time are a vertical oscillation generated most often from surface winds creating a circulation (eddy). There are no 'leading waves' to a 'big wave' rather simply a continual progression in size.

Ocean waves in space are generated from the simple motion of the wind. As the depth decreases the energy density of the wave increases, increasing the wave amplitude

Illustration (1)

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Common Vocabulary (if useful)

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  • $\begingroup$ "There are no 'leading waves' to a 'big wave' rather simply a continual progression in size." This is a confusing statement to me. Also, there are leading waves if you are talking about wave groups. Distinction between ocean waves in time and space is also confusing. They are not different physical process, but a different coordinate system. $\endgroup$ Feb 9, 2018 at 21:51
  • $\begingroup$ @milancurcic Milan you bring good points but beyond the scope of my skillset or experience, please post an answer as you describe if possible. Curious to see and learn from! $\endgroup$
    – J-Dizzle
    Feb 12, 2018 at 3:08

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