The nonlinear evolution and approximate scaling of directionally spread wave groups on deep water

Thomas A A Adcock, Richard H. Gibbs, Paul Taylor

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

24 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

The evolution of steep waves in the open ocean is nonlinear. In narrow-banded but directionally spread seas, this nonlinearity does not produce significant extra elevation but does lead to a large change in the shape of the wave group, causing, relative to linear evolution, contraction in the mean wave direction and lateral expansion. We use the nonlinear Schrödinger equation (NLSE) to derive an approximate analytical relationship for these changes in group shape. This shows excellent agreement with the numerical results both for the NLSE and for the full water wave equations. We also consider the application of scaling laws from the NLSE in terms of wave steepness and bandwidth to solutions of the full water wave equations. We investigate these numerically. While some aspects of water wave evolution do not scale, the major changes that a wave group undergoes as it evolves scale very well.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2704-2721
Number of pages18
JournalProceedings of the Royal Society A: Mathematical, Physical and Engineering Sciences
Volume468
Issue number2145
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 8 Sep 2012
Externally publishedYes

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