Waves move up and down all across the surface of the ocean. Waves are caused by the wind. The wind above the ocean pushes on the water, causing the ripples, swells, and chop that we call waves.
|Watch the buoy in this animation of a wave. Notice that the buoy moves in a circle as the waves move up and down underneath it. Only the shape of a wave moves across the ocean. The water stays in one place, moving around in a circle, up and down with a little movement side to side. This movement gives the wave its shape. The buoy floating on the water moves in the same pattern, up and down in a slow circle, carried by the moving water.|
Beneath the surface, the circular motion of the waves is decreased. There is little up and down movement in the water, leaving only a gentle side-to-side motion called surge. Watch this web page for an animation describing surge in the near future.