PMF IAS Current Affairs
PMF IAS Current Affairs
  • Context (TH): Indian National Centre for Ocean Information Services (INCOIS) and ISRO have embarked on a project to monitor and issue operational forecast alerts of rip currents.
  • Rip current is a narrow, powerful current of water running perpendicular to the beach, out into the ocean.
  • They typically extend from near the shoreline, through the surf zone and past the line of breaking waves.
  • Rip currents move along the surface of the water, pulling one straight out into the ocean.
  • Surf zone is the area between the high tide level on the beach to the seaward side of breaking waves.

How do rip currents form?

  • They are caused by the shape of the shoreline itself, and they may be sudden and unexpected.
  • They can occur in areas with hard-bottom (rocky) or soft-bottom (sand or silt) beach topography.
  • Rip currents form when waves break near the shoreline, piling up water between the breaking waves and the beach.
  • One of the ways this water returns to sea is to form a rip current, a narrow stream of water moving swiftly away from shore, often perpendicular to the shoreline.

Rip Currents

How fast are rip currents?

  • Rip currents typically reach speeds of 1 to 2 feet per second. However, some rip currents have been measured at 8 feet per second—faster than any Olympic swimmer ever recorded.

How big are rip currents?

  • Rip currents can be as narrow as 10 or 20 feet in width though they may be up to ten times wider.
  • Rip currents begin to slow down as they move offshore, beyond the breaking waves, but sometimes extend for hundreds of feet beyond the surf zone.

Are all rip currents dangerous?

  • Rip currents are present on many beaches every day of the year, but they are usually too slow to be dangerous to beachgoers.
  • They are one of the most well-known coastal hazards on beaches around the world.
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