Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute
Marine Botany

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Waves are a Drag

intertidal rocks

In steady flow, organisms attached to the substratum experience forces due to both drag and lift. The arrival and retreat of waves in the intertidal zone introduces another force, termed the acceleration reaction, due to oscillatory water motion. By measuring water velocity and acceleration, one can determine the forces exerted on intertidal and subtidal algae by water motion.

  An Intuitive Introduction to Flow Fields

Lift Forces

Drag Forces

The Acceleration Reaction

Net Force



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copyright Elizabeth Nelson, Judith Connor 1999, 2000   Non-profit educational uses permitted.    

Last updated: Feb. 05, 2009