TY - JOUR

T1 - Evolution of packets of surface gravity waves over strong smooth topography

AU - Benilov, E. S.

AU - Howlin, C. P.

PY - 2006/4

Y1 - 2006/4

N2 - Wave packets in a smoothly inhomogeneous medium are governed by a nonlinear Schrödinger (NLS) equation with variable coefficients. There are two spatial scales in the problem: the spatial scale of the inhomogeneities and the distance over which nonlinearity and dispersion affect the packet. Accordingly, there are two limits where the problem can be approached asymptotically: when the former scale is much larger than the latter, and vice versa. In this paper, we examine the limit where the spatial scale of (periodic or random) inhomogeneities is much smaller than that of nonlinearity-dispersion (i.e., the latter effects are much weaker than the former). In this case, the packet undergoes rapid oscillations of the geometric-optical type, and also evolves slowly due to nonlinearity and dispersion. We demonstrate that the latter evolution is governed by an NLS equation with constant (averaged) coefficients. The general theory is illustrated by the example of surface gravity waves in a channel of variable depth. In particular, it is shown that topography increases the critical frequency, for which the nonlinearity coefficient of the NLS equation changes sign (in such cases, no steady solutions exist, i.e., waves with frequencies lower than the critical one disperse and cannot form packets).

AB - Wave packets in a smoothly inhomogeneous medium are governed by a nonlinear Schrödinger (NLS) equation with variable coefficients. There are two spatial scales in the problem: the spatial scale of the inhomogeneities and the distance over which nonlinearity and dispersion affect the packet. Accordingly, there are two limits where the problem can be approached asymptotically: when the former scale is much larger than the latter, and vice versa. In this paper, we examine the limit where the spatial scale of (periodic or random) inhomogeneities is much smaller than that of nonlinearity-dispersion (i.e., the latter effects are much weaker than the former). In this case, the packet undergoes rapid oscillations of the geometric-optical type, and also evolves slowly due to nonlinearity and dispersion. We demonstrate that the latter evolution is governed by an NLS equation with constant (averaged) coefficients. The general theory is illustrated by the example of surface gravity waves in a channel of variable depth. In particular, it is shown that topography increases the critical frequency, for which the nonlinearity coefficient of the NLS equation changes sign (in such cases, no steady solutions exist, i.e., waves with frequencies lower than the critical one disperse and cannot form packets).

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/record.url?scp=33644753758&partnerID=8YFLogxK

U2 - 10.1111/j.1467-9590.2006.00344.x

DO - 10.1111/j.1467-9590.2006.00344.x

M3 - Article

AN - SCOPUS:33644753758

SN - 0022-2526

VL - 116

SP - 289

EP - 301

JO - Studies in Applied Mathematics

JF - Studies in Applied Mathematics

IS - 3

ER -