Oceanus Magazine
Back to Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution's Homepage

A Mess of Physics Near the Shore


The location of sandbars can protect or endanger the face of the beach. As undertow drives sandbars away from the shoreline and further out to sea, waves break further from the shore. When sandbars are pushed closer to shore, waves break closer and run further up the beach.  (Animation by Jack Cook, Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution)