Generation of long subharmonic internal waves by surface waves Academic Article uri icon


  • 2016 Elsevier Ltd A new set of Boussinesq equations is derived to study the nonlinear interactions between long waves in a two-layer fluid. The fluid layers are assumed to be homogeneous, inviscid, incompressible, and immiscible. Based on the Boussinesq equations, an analytical model is developed using a second-order perturbation theory and applied to examine the transient evolution of a resonant triad composed of a surface wave and two oblique subharmonic internal waves. Wave damping due to weak viscosity in both layers is considered. The Boussinesq equations and the analytical model are verified. In contrast to previous studies which focus on short internal waves, we examine long waves and investigate some previously unexplored characteristics of this class of triad interaction. In viscous fluids, surface wave amplitudes must be larger than a threshold to overcome viscous damping and trigger internal waves. The dependency of this critical amplitude as well as the growth and damping rates of internal waves on important parameters in a two-fluid system, namely the directional angle of the internal waves, depth, density, and viscosity ratio of the fluid layers, and surface wave amplitude and frequency is investigated.

published proceedings


altmetric score

  • 1

author list (cited authors)

  • Tahvildari, N., Kaihatu, J. M., & Saric, W. S.

citation count

  • 5

complete list of authors

  • Tahvildari, Navid||Kaihatu, James M||Saric, William S

publication date

  • January 2016