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Infrared (IR) imagery of microbreaking waves in the ocean and laboratory showed modulation of breaking by swell and paddle-generated waves, respectively. Skin temperature also was modulated by the long waves, with the maxima occurring on the rear face of the long waves in both the laboratory and the field. The IR imagery from the ocean and laboratory showed that long-wave-induced microbreaking occurred at or near the long wave crest, and the resulting warm wakes occurred on the rear face. Thus, microbreaking waves generated near the crest of low-amplitude long waves can produce modulation with the maxima on the rear face. This mechanism was shown to be responsible for modulation of the measured in the laboratory and also likely contributed to the modulation observed in the field.
Date of Publication: July 2007