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I was staring at a puddle as a gust of wind hit it, producing the following wave pattern ...

enter image description here

To my mind, the only way this could occur is if the gust of wind had a distinct leading edge, much like if i moved a match-stick through the water along the red line.

UPDATE

Here's a picture of the puddle ...

enter image description here

It approximates a trapezoid, whose longest side (adjacent to garden) is about 2.5m, its shortest side about 1m, and its height about 1.5m. I estimate its maximum depth at 1cm. I didn't give this detail before because I have witnessed the same phenomenon countless times in various puddles and bodies of water, but only when it's windy! I'm surprised no one else has seen this?!

There are no kink lines along the path of the wave - I've seen the same pattern form along multiple paths of different direction in the puddle above.

I think @HotLicks could be on the money here - a vortex of some description could possibly cause this, but the path always seems to be surprisingly straight - not something I'd expect from a turbulent gust of wind.

The puddle has only been on my roof for a day or two so whilst it could be some sort of aquatic creature, I think it's unlikely given the length of time it's been there.

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  • $\begingroup$ More like the bow wave caused by a boat cutting into the water... $\endgroup$ Feb 1 '18 at 17:22
  • $\begingroup$ Maybe there was a fish or other aquatic animal swimming just below the surface and you mistook a fortuitously simultaneous wind gust as the cause of the wave phenomenon! $\endgroup$
    – freecharly
    Feb 1 '18 at 18:48
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    $\begingroup$ You are not giving sufficient information to come to a sensible answer to your question. First, you revealed only in your comments that your puddle was only 1cm deep and on a kitchen roof. Then you are not giving the lateral dimensions of the puddle. Further, the structure of your kitchen roof could play a role. For example, if you have a tin roof with a kink line due to a connection of metal sheets producing a line of shallower water where this phenomenon occurs. $\endgroup$
    – freecharly
    Feb 1 '18 at 23:28
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    $\begingroup$ I suspect that the puddle has some step in its bottom and is very shallow, and you are seeing the effects of a change in the speed of the waves due to the step. $\endgroup$
    – user107153
    Feb 2 '18 at 0:06
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    $\begingroup$ Why is this still on hold? I'm starting to think this phenomenon is actually just the manifestation of my ignorance multiplied by the on hold crew's skepticism. Now I know how Copernicus felt. $\endgroup$ Feb 2 '18 at 18:54
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It is highly unlikely that the observed wave phenomenon was caused by the wind gust. Most probably, the wave front, which resembles a wave front caused by an object moving faster than the wave velocity (like a supersonic aircraft), was caused by an animal (fish, frog, otter, beaver,...) swimming fortuitously at the same time under de surface of the pond.

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    $\begingroup$ I find it hard to believe that a fish/frog/otter/beaver could find its way onto my kitchen roof, which is where the PUDDLE was - we're talking 1cm deep at the most! Ok maybe a frog could, but no, that's not the answer. I've seen this phenomenon before ... it's definitely down to the wind!! $\endgroup$ Feb 1 '18 at 20:21
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    $\begingroup$ @3-14159265358979323846264 - Good that you are giving more details of the observed puddle. They should have already been given in the question. Still missing: What was the lateral dimension of the kitchen roof puddle?One cm water depth is ruling out some of the animals I mentioned in the answer. It also shows that the waves were probably capillary waves, not gravity waves. It would still be important to know what the structure and material the roof has, where the pool is in. For example , if there were some linear connections under the water surface. Re animals, there are also water beetles. $\endgroup$
    – freecharly
    Feb 1 '18 at 21:06

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