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Surf on the Pacific coast of Peru

Surf describes the noisy behavior of waves , which is associated with the formation of spray , when they reach extremely flat areas of a sea (cf. →  swell ) or a very large lake , usually the coastal or bank zone. It is caused, among other things, by the fact that in the increasingly shallow water the waves get higher and higher and finally break . The overall associated turbulence and currents (e.g. the surf backflow in the foreshore area) have a significant influence on erosion and sedimentation on flat coasts .

Surf on the east coast of Rhodes

In geomorphology , the shallow water area in which the surf acts is called the surf zone . It is the landward part of the Schorre and is further subdivided into breaker zone, surf zone in the narrower sense and run-up zone. The dry beach joins the run-up zone on land, the deep water zone on the seaward side of the breaker zone, the seaward part of the Schorre, in which the water depth is below the base of the fair weather waves.

The sound of the surf on the coast of the sea is commonly called the sound of the sea .


  • Frank Ahnert: Introduction to Geomorphology. 3rd, updated and supplemented edition. Verlag Eugen Ulmer, Stuttgart 2003, ISBN 3-8001-2813-6 , p. 395
  • Stephan Sedlacek: Synoptic observation of the interactions between hydro- and morphodynamics. Dissertation on obtaining a doctorate in natural sciences in the Geosciences Department of the University of Hamburg, 2013, urn : nbn: de: gbv: 18-66165 , p. 20 ff.

Web links

Commons : Ocean Surf  - Collection of images, videos and audio files
Wiktionary: surf  - explanations of meanings, word origins, synonyms, translations