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Swell waves inundated coastal areas of Kerala

Why is it in the news?

  • Swell waves, locally referred to as ‘Kallakkadal’ in Kerala, are a phenomenon characterized by inundation of coastal areas in central and southern districts of the state.

More about the news

  • The term ‘Kallakkadal’ is colloquially used by Kerala fishermen to describe these flooding episodes and was formally accepted by UNESCO for scientific use in
  • Swell waves occur when waves in a fully developed sea outrun the storm that creates them, traveling great distances from the wind source.
  • These waves have lower frequencies compared to waves generated by local storms and are able to travel thousands of miles without significant changes in height and period.
  • Swell waves organize into groups that appear smooth and regular in appearance.
  • The longer the wave, the faster it travels, and as waves leave a storm area, they tend to sort themselves out with the longer ones ahead of the shorter ones.
  • Further, the energy from swell waves is simultaneously spread out over an increasingly larger area as they travel.

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