Tuesday, January 22, 2013

The Things You Learn

   I had to do a little research for my novel today. It's the first time since the initial planning stages that I really wasn't sure how to describe something, and whether it worked the way I thought it would. Today, it was the ocean.
   The question from my research was this... What are those long piles of rocks that jut out from the shoreline called and what are their purpose? Now, I thought I knew what they were for. In my brain those were called breaklines (they aren't) and they served the purpose of breaking waves before they hit the shore (which they do). My search turned up two terms, breakwater, and seawall.
   My next question was obviously... What is the difference between a breakwater and a seawall? And what did I discover, you ask. A line of rocks that juts into the ocean is called a breakwater. They are used to reduce the currents and wave heights in a harbor. A seawall completely encloses a section of ocean and prevents damage to the shoreline caused by high waves or tidal flooding.
   If you'd like to know why this was information necessary to my science fiction novel, my main character crashes a flying car into the ocean during a hurricane.

Jimmie Hammel

Post a Comment