Rip current review
MacMahan, Jamie H.
Thornton, Ed B.
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Rip currents are shore-normal, narrow, seaward-flowing currents that originate within surf zone, extend seaward of the breaking region (rip head), and can obtain relatively high velocities. Within the last decade, there have been a significant number of laboratory and field observations within rip current systems. An overview of rip current kinematics based on these observations and the scientific advances obtained from these efforts are synthesized. Rip current flows are partitioned into mean, infragravity, very low frequency (vorticity), and tidal contributions, and it is found that each contributes significantly to the total. Data from the laboratory and the field suggest that the rip current strength increases with increasing wave energy and decreasing water depths. The maximum mean current occurs inside the surf zone, where the maximum forcing is present owing to the dissipation of waves.
The article of record as published may be located at http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.coastaleng.2005.10.009
RightsThis publication is a work of the U.S. Government as defined in Title 17, United States Code, Section 101. Copyright protection is not available for this work in the United States.
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