Even though the physics of wave breaking for ocean surface waves may not be well understood, what wave breaking is and what it looks like is no mystery to the average beach-goer. However, I am confused to as what "whitecapping" is, in the context of "whitecapping dissipation" of waves that appears in literature.
- What is whitecapping? Is it the white "stuff" that is created when a wave break?
- If so, what causes the white "stuff"? Is it the same as "foam", a term that is found in the literature as well?
- Are the terms "whitecapping" and "wave breaking" synonymously used? Are they in fact one and the same?
Relevant references would also be appreciated.