Rip Currents

Facts for Prelims

Rip Currents

News: Indian National Centre for Ocean Information Services (INCOIS) and Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) will monitor and issue operational forecast alerts of rip currents.

What are Rip currents?
• Rip currents are strong, narrow, seaward flows of water that extend from close to the shoreline to outside of the surf zone.
• They are found on almost any beach with breaking waves and act as “rivers of the sea,” moving sand, marine organisms, and other material offshore.
• They are a common and potentially dangerous coastal phenomenon.

Cause of Rip currents
• These currents often form when waves break near the shoreline.
• Submerged structures such as sandbars, jetties, or reefs alter the flow of water, creating channels where currents can develop.
• As waves approach the shore, they may converge and create imbalances in water distribution, leading to the formation of channels through which excess water flows back to the ocean.  

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