Rough sea foam

Alan C. Newell, Vladimir E. Zakharov

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

51 Scopus citations


A simple theory is developed for rough seas in which the energy cascade towards small scales is too much for a surface tension dominated wrinkling of the surface to handle. We suggest that a new phase, consisting of an air-water foam, is created and becomes the principal medium for energy dissipation. The foam depth and droplet size are calculated and we suggest how the predicted dependence on energy flux and surface tension could be verified experimentally.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1149-1151
Number of pages3
JournalPhysical review letters
Issue number8
StatePublished - 1992

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Physics and Astronomy


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