I am looking for a book about waves in the context of Earth Science, the two main topics I have in mind are ocean waves and seismic waves.

Explanations in a book like Understanding earth1 is too simple for me (I am not scared by the right amount of math); the chapters in Physics for geologists2 are too succinct; on the other hand a book like Ocean waves in geosciences3 is too deep for me and it lacks waves different from the ocean ones.

Almost all about waves4 is not focused on the Earth Science.

1GROTZINGER, John; JORDAN, Thomas H.; PRESS, Frank. Understanding earth. Macmillan, 2010.

2CHAPMAN, Richard E. Physics for geologists. Taylor & Francis, 2002.

3ARDHUIN, Fabrice. Ocean waves in geosciences, 2021.

4PIERCE, John R. Almost all about waves. Cambridge: MIT Press, 1973.

  • 2
    $\begingroup$ Just a note that waves are also very important in meteorology as well... Kelvin waves, rossby waves, gravity waves, etc. Water and air are both fluids, so have quite a few similarities (and differences) $\endgroup$ Jan 19 at 23:05
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ @JeopardyTempest Of course! My recent interest in waves was exactly sparked by a air pressure wave picked up by barometers world wide and due to the eruption of Hunga Tonga–Hunga Haʻapai volcano. $\endgroup$ Jan 20 at 7:20
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ Was even able to identify it on my my brother's weather station in south Florida, quite the event. It seems an interesting question (perhaps only because I've been out of atmospheric dynamics for 15 years now, so may be an easy/obvious answer for others) to wonder what type of wave it was. Gotta be a compression wave/shock wave(?), but how the physics work after 3 trips around the world seems an interesting question. It's not really a sound wave either I wouldn't think, though there was one that went a ways. I know there's been studies into ultrasonic waves for things like tornadoes? ... $\endgroup$ Jan 20 at 11:26
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ ... but the pressure change was over the course of a few minutes, so it seems a little different in size to anything I'd normally consider in meteorology. There's gravity waves that are outward moving waves caused by inertial things like a deep convective updraft, but they're transverse. Waves are something I don't know enough about either I'd say, as I could handle the rigorous physics once upon a time, but not sure I ever got a broader overview of how they work. I think there's a wide variety of wave scales/wavenumbers that we've maybe even only scratched the surface of? Great question. $\endgroup$ Jan 20 at 11:30
  • 3
    $\begingroup$ I'm not sure the book you're describing (domain-specific, comprehensive, and accessible; usually you can pick 2 of these) exists, but FWIW I really like Fleisch & Kinnaman (2015), A Student's Guide to Waves, Cambridge. It's applied physics, not earth science, but covers EM, pressure, and mechanical waves quite well. $\endgroup$
    – kwinkunks
    Jan 20 at 18:58


Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.