Application of a nonlinear frequency domain wave-current interaction model to shallow water recurrence effects in random waves Academic Article uri icon


  • The effect of ambient currents on nearshore nonlinear wave-wave energy transfer in random waves is studied with the use of a nonlinear frequency domain wave-current interaction model. We focus on the phenomenon of wave recurrence as a classical nonlinear phenomenon whose characteristics are well established for systems truncated to small numbers of frequency modes. The model used for this study is first extended to enhance accuracy; comparisons of permanent form solutions to analytical forms confirm the model accuracy. Application of the model to a highly truncated system confirmed the model's consistency with published results for both positive (following) and negative (adverse) currents. Propagation of random wave spectra over a flat bottom was performed with the model, with the intent of determining the prevalence of recurrence between the spectral peak and its harmonics. For spectra of moderate Ursell number, it was found that positive currents extended the length scale of recurrence relative to the case with no currents; conversely, negative currents reduced the recurrence lengths. However, beyond a propagation distance of 40 wavelengths of the spectral peak, recurrence becomes almost completely damped as the spectra becomes broad and the spectral energies equilibrate. For spectra of high Ursell number, in contrast, recurrence is almost immediately damped, suggesting that the nonlinearity is sufficient to allow immediate spectral broadening and equilibration and overwhelming any preferential interactions among the spectral peak and its harmonics, regardless of current magnitude or direction. 2008 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

published proceedings


author list (cited authors)

  • Kaihatu, J. M.

citation count

  • 12

complete list of authors

  • Kaihatu, James M

publication date

  • January 2009