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



Rip currents.




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


Annual Review of Fluid Mechanics
43 : 551 - 581




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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