American Meteorological Society
The wind tearing of breaking wave crests produces spume drops. The authors report preliminary laboratory data from direct and unambiguous observation of this process under various wind conditions using a video imaging technique. Results include the size distribution and production rates of these drops. The curves for production rates at different wind speeds merge effectively when normalized by the number of breaking events. This confirms that wave breaking occurrence, not the wind speed, is a dominant factor in spume production.
M. Anguelova, R. P. Barber, Jr., and Jin Wu, "Laboratory observation of spume drops produced by wind tearing of wave crests," Journal of Physical Oceanography, 29, 1156, (1999).