Wave group

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Definition of Wave group:
A series of short-period waves bounded by an amplitude envelope of much larger periodicity, corresponding to the superposition of incident waves with slightly differing wave lengths and frequencies.
This is the common definition for Wave group, other definitions can be discussed in the article


Incident waves arrive in groups when the wave spectrum contains incident waves with slightly differing wave lengths and frequencies - as is often the case. The superposition of these incident waves forms wave groups, as shown in the figure. Wave groups typically contain 5 - 10 waves. Nonlinear interaction within the wave group generates infragravity waves. Wave groups also cause surf beat.

The superposition of two wave trains of slightly different wave lengths and similar amplitude forms wave groups and induce a long bound wave. Modified from Open University. [1].

Related articles

Infragravity waves
Shallow-water wave theory


  1. OpenUniversity, 1994. Waves, Tides and Shallow-water Processes. Pergamon Press, Oxford