Q:

What is the difference between the crest and trough?

A:

Quick Answer

In waves, the crest appears as the highest point, while the trough is the lowest, forming a dip or valley in the wave's motion. The crest, also called the peak, forms the maximum height of every wave, including water waves, radio waves and electrical waves. The distance and height between the trough and crest varies depending on the type of wave and local conditions, such as wind speed and direction.

Know More

Full Answer

The crest rises above the level of still water, which in turn determines wave height. Similarly, scientists measure the distance of the trough as the lowest point in comparison to the standing water level or line of equilibrium. Waves form from many sources, which influences height and wave length. Water waves arise from the movement of boats and currents, but occur primarily from the force of winds. Wind speed and direction, called fetch, makes water rise. The height of the waves depends on these factors, while wave length and distance depend on the duration, strength and frequency of wind gusts. Wave length refers to the greatest horizontal distance between two waves, which measures from the crests or troughs. Wave height and length determine wave frequency, which identifies the amount of time elapsing between each wave passing over a set, fixed point.

Learn more about Earth Science

Related Questions

  • Q:

    How do waves change as they approach the shore?

    A:

    As the distance between the wave base and the ocean floor narrows, a wave moves around sediment. In this interaction, the wave loses some of its energy and slows down. Water piles up behind this slower wave, increasing the height of the wave before it breaks on the shore.

    Full Answer >
    Filed Under:
  • Q:

    What happens when waves travel through a gap?

    A:

    Waves tend to travel in straight lines. However, when an obstacle is placed in a wave's path and the wave is forced to pass through a gap in the obstacle, the wave bends and spreads out on the other side of the obstacle. The bending of a wave to get past an obstacle is called diffraction.

    Full Answer >
    Filed Under:
  • Q:

    What are the types of seismic waves?

    A:

    Two main types of seismic waves exist: body waves and surface waves. Body waves include P waves or primary waves and S waves or secondary waves. Surface waves include Love waves and Rayleigh waves.

    Full Answer >
    Filed Under:
  • Q:

    What causes ocean waves?

    A:

    Ocean waves are an expression of energy moving through water. The most common ocean waves are caused by surface winds pushing water toward land. Seismic activity can also cause waves, such as tsunamis created by undersea earthquakes or landslides. Undersea currents can also influence wave formation, creating small oscillations deep in the ocean that can intensify once the waves approach a coastline.

    Full Answer >
    Filed Under:

Explore