CA Coastal Wave Heights


See explanatory information at  bottom of page.




(1)  Wave heights are in feet and represent the average of the highest one-third of the waves present, crest-to-trough.  Maximum wave height likely to be observed over a 10 minute interval will be approximately 1.6 times higher than the wave heights shown on the charts above.
(2)  Wave heights include refraction (i.e., the bending of wave directions) due to shallow-water.  However, depending on the steepness of the waves, the slope of the bottom in the surf zone and the angle of the coastline (or more precisely, the bottom contours) relative to the incoming waves, surf can be significantly larger or smaller than the wave heights depicted along the coastlines above. 

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