AbstractA comparison is made between two reference frames that can each be used to define "still water" for finite amplitude waves on water of finite depth. The reference frame characterized by zero mass flux due to the waves is used to find some exact relations between the wave integral properties. The averaged Lagranian (wave action) approach and the energy/momentum approach to the interaction of finite amplitude waves with slowly-varying currents are also derived in this reference frame. Results in many cases are simpler than those in the more commonly chosen reference frame characterized by zero mean horizontal velocity under the waves. An application of the integral properties is made to Vocoidal wave theory, which is defined in the zero mass flux frame. It is shown that the rotation present in the orbital velocity field of Vocoidal waves is not always negligible.
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