Dominant processes that amplify the swell towards the coast: the Nazaré Canyon and the giant waves
Keywords:Portuguese Atlantic margin; Submarine canyons; Nazaré Canyon; Giant waves.
The Iberian Atlantic coast is typically featured by incisions that deeply affect the continental shelf, commonly known as submarine canyons. Among the submarine canyons located off the Portuguese Atlantic coast are the canyons of Porto, Aveiro, Nazaré and Lisboa-Setúbal, being of note the canyons of Nazaré and Lisboa-Setúbal for their dimensions, characteristics and dynamics. Nazaré is a small city located about 100 km north of Lisboa, known worldwide for the occurrence of recently surfed giant waves. The Nazaré Canyon is one of the largest submarine canyons in Europe. It is about 225 km long and 5000 m maximum depth, with several steep slopes. The present work aims to contribute to the general understanding of the canyon systems dynamics throughout the Portuguese Atlantic coast. The Nazaré Canyon and its giant swell are discussed. A brief description of the most recent giant waves surfed and listed in the Guinness book is also provided.
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