WavesArctic Waves

In open water, waves in the Arctic behave like any other wave: waves are a function of wind speed, duration, and fetch. Arctic cyclones generate large waves, particularly in the right-front quadrant of their path.

Map of the Arctic Region

Vast portions of the Arctic have very shallow bathymetry, particularly north of Eurasia. Waves generated in these areas tend to be steep and choppy. Arctic waves don't tend to be far-travelled like waves in other oceans permanent sea ice around the North Pole blocks long propagation paths. Thus, the Arctic does not experience the very long period swell seen in other oceans.