Science Serving Maryland's Coasts

Research Publications: UM-SG-RS-2011-09

Title: 

Rip currents.

Year: 

2011

Authors: 

Dalrymple, Robert A., Jamie H. MacMahan, Ad J.H.M. Reniers, and Varjola Nelko.

Source: 

Annual Review of Fluid Mechanics 43:551-581

DOI: 

10.1146/annurev-fluid-122109-160733

Abstract: 

Rip currents are fast-moving flows, traveling “outward almost at right angles to the shore” (Shepard 1936), creating a natural hazard for beachgoers, who suddenly find themselves in deep water. Field measurements and instrumen- tation, laboratory techniques, and numerical modeling have improved with time, enabling a more complete description of rip currents now. Surprisingly, there are many types of rip currents that can occur on beaches, and these currents are created by a wide variety of mechanisms that are presented here, along with numerical, physical, or field validation. We also show the potential for prediction schemes for use by lifeguards and beach managers.

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