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"Spilling break Wave" | by ZacharyTurner
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"Spilling break Wave"

There are 3 basic types of breaking waves, depending on the type of shoreline they’re hitting. Spilling breakers occur on gently sloping coasts where the waves break slowly and over a long distance, with the crest spilling gently down the front of the wave. That’s what we have here. If the coast is steeper, the waves slow down more quickly and so the crest curls way over the front of the wave and plunges down towards the base---in other words it curls. This is a plunging breaker and is a good surfing wave like you’d have in Hawaii. In some cases, where the coastline if very steep, the wave builds up very suddenly and breaks right onto the beach. These are surging breakers.

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Taken on February 26, 2011