Longshore current

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Definition of Longshore current:
Current running parallel to the shore generated by obliquely incident waves.
This is the common definition for Longshore current, other definitions can be discussed in the article


The longshore current is generated by the shore-parallel component of the stresses associated with the breaking process of obliquely incoming waves, the so-called radiation stresses. It is often the dominating current in the surf zone. [1].

See also

Shallow-water wave theory

For more coastal definitions and a sketch, see also Definitions of coastal terms.


  1. Mangor, Karsten. 2004. “Shoreline Management Guidelines”. DHI Water and Environment, 294pp.