Abstract

Two graphs based on field and experimental data assembled from a variety of sources are given showing how the wavelength, flatness (vertical form-index or ripple index), and grain size of wave ripple marks in the stratigraphic record can be interpreted in terms of the near-bed water particle orbital diameter and maximum orbital velocity induced by progressive surface waves. The graphs lead to estimates of wave period, from which the environmental setting and possible water depths and wave heights can be judged. Wave ripple-marks are the response of a mobile bed to multi component currents that are more complex than is generally recognized. The asymmetry and slow translation of the structures is shown empirically to depend on the relative importance of 2 of the 3 minimum recognizable components.

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