A numerical and experimental study on the nonlinear evolution of long-crested irregular waves

Arnaud Goullet, Wooyoung Choi

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The spatial evolution of nonlinear long-crested irregular waves characterized by the JONSWAP spectrum is studied numerically using a nonlinear wave model based on a pseudospectral (PS) method and the modified nonlinear Schrödinger (MNLS) equation. In addition, new laboratory experiments with two different spectral bandwidths are carried out and a number of wave probe measurements are made to validate these two wave models. Strongly nonlinear wave groups are observed experimentally and their propagation and interaction are studied in detail. For the comparison with experimental measurements, the two models need to be initialized with care and the initialization procedures are described. The MNLS equation is found to approximate reasonably well for the wave fields with a relatively smaller Benjamin-Feir index, but the phase error increases as the propagation distance increases. The PS model with different orders of nonlinear approximation is solved numerically, and it is shown that the fifth-order model agrees well with our measurements prior to wave breaking for both spectral bandwidths.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number016601
JournalPhysics of Fluids
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 3 2011

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Computational Mechanics
  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Mechanics of Materials
  • Mechanical Engineering
  • Fluid Flow and Transfer Processes


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