The development of nonlinear surface and internal wave groups
Chereskin, Teresa K.
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The development of nonlinear surface and internal wave groups is investigated. Surface wave evolution was observed in an unusually long wave channel as a function of steepness and group length. Dissipation and frequency downshifting were important characteristics of the long-time evolution. The amplitude and phase modulations were obtained using the Hilbert transform and specified as an initial condition to the cubic nonlinear Schrodinger equation, which was solved numerically. This equation is known to govern the slowly varying complex modulation envelope of gravity waves on deep water. When dissipation was included, the model compared quite well with the observations. Phase modulation was used to interpret the long-time behavior, using the phase evolution of exact asymptotic solutions as a guide. The wave groups exhibited a long-time coherence but not the recurrence predicted by the inviscid theory. An oceanic field study of the generation of groups of large amplitude internal waves by stratified tidal flow over a submarine ridge indicates that the large amplitude and asymmetry of the topography are critical in determining the type of flow response. The calculated Froude numbers response length scale and duration differ markedly between the two phases of the tide due to the asymmetry.
Submitted in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree of Doctor of Philosophy at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution August 1982
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