Rip currents are strong offshore directed currents that occur when high waves break over nearshore sandbars.
When breaking, high incident waves raise the water level in the area between the beach and nearshore sandbars. This elevated water is discharged by rip currents that flow seaward through narrow gaps between the nearshore bars. The corresponding morphological pattern is called "rip cell". It results from the morphodynamic feedback between the coastal morphology and the incident wave field. A local setback in the shoreline is often seen opposite the rip opening. The rip opening travels slowly downstream. Rip currents are dangerous for swimmers.
- Dronkers, J. 2017. Dynamics of Coastal Systems. World Scientific Publ. Co, Singapore, 740 pp.