Numerical investigation of the instability and nonlinear evolution of narrow-band directional ocean waves

Bengt Eliasson, Padma Shukla

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

27 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

The instability and nonlinear evolution of directional ocean waves is investigated numerically by means of simulations of the governing kinetic equation for narrow-band surface waves. Our simulation results reveal the onset of the modulational instability for long-crested wave trains, which agrees well with recent large-scale experiments in wave basins, where it was found that narrower directional spectra lead to self-focusing of ocean waves and an enhanced probability of extreme events. We find that the modulational instability is nonlinearly saturated by a broadening of the wave spectrum, which leads to the stabilization of the water-wave system. Applications of our results to other fields of physics, such as nonlinear optics and plasma physics, are discussed.
Original languageEnglish
Article number014501
Number of pages4
JournalPhysical Review Letters
Volume105
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 30 Jun 2010

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narrowband
oceans
physics
water waves
plasma physics
self focusing
nonlinear optics
planetary waves
kinetic equations
surface waves
simulation
stabilization

Keywords

  • directional ocean waves
  • kinetic equation
  • narrow band surface waves

Cite this

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title = "Numerical investigation of the instability and nonlinear evolution of narrow-band directional ocean waves",
abstract = "The instability and nonlinear evolution of directional ocean waves is investigated numerically by means of simulations of the governing kinetic equation for narrow-band surface waves. Our simulation results reveal the onset of the modulational instability for long-crested wave trains, which agrees well with recent large-scale experiments in wave basins, where it was found that narrower directional spectra lead to self-focusing of ocean waves and an enhanced probability of extreme events. We find that the modulational instability is nonlinearly saturated by a broadening of the wave spectrum, which leads to the stabilization of the water-wave system. Applications of our results to other fields of physics, such as nonlinear optics and plasma physics, are discussed.",
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Numerical investigation of the instability and nonlinear evolution of narrow-band directional ocean waves. / Eliasson, Bengt; Shukla, Padma.

In: Physical Review Letters, Vol. 105, No. 1, 014501, 30.06.2010.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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T1 - Numerical investigation of the instability and nonlinear evolution of narrow-band directional ocean waves

AU - Eliasson, Bengt

AU - Shukla, Padma

PY - 2010/6/30

Y1 - 2010/6/30

N2 - The instability and nonlinear evolution of directional ocean waves is investigated numerically by means of simulations of the governing kinetic equation for narrow-band surface waves. Our simulation results reveal the onset of the modulational instability for long-crested wave trains, which agrees well with recent large-scale experiments in wave basins, where it was found that narrower directional spectra lead to self-focusing of ocean waves and an enhanced probability of extreme events. We find that the modulational instability is nonlinearly saturated by a broadening of the wave spectrum, which leads to the stabilization of the water-wave system. Applications of our results to other fields of physics, such as nonlinear optics and plasma physics, are discussed.

AB - The instability and nonlinear evolution of directional ocean waves is investigated numerically by means of simulations of the governing kinetic equation for narrow-band surface waves. Our simulation results reveal the onset of the modulational instability for long-crested wave trains, which agrees well with recent large-scale experiments in wave basins, where it was found that narrower directional spectra lead to self-focusing of ocean waves and an enhanced probability of extreme events. We find that the modulational instability is nonlinearly saturated by a broadening of the wave spectrum, which leads to the stabilization of the water-wave system. Applications of our results to other fields of physics, such as nonlinear optics and plasma physics, are discussed.

KW - directional ocean waves

KW - kinetic equation

KW - narrow band surface waves

UR - http://link.aps.org/doi/10.1103/PhysRevLett.105.014501

U2 - 10.1103/PhysRevLett.105.014501

DO - 10.1103/PhysRevLett.105.014501

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JO - Physical Review Letters

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