From modulational instability to focusing dam breaks in water waves

Bonnefoy, Félicien, Tikan, Alexey, Copie, François, Suret, Pierre, Ducrozet, Guillaume, Pradehusai, Gaurav, Michel, Guillaume, Cazaubiel, Annette, Falcon, Eric, El, Gennady and Randoux, Stéphane (2020) From modulational instability to focusing dam breaks in water waves. Physical Review Fluids, 5 (3). 034802. ISSN 2469-990X

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We report water wave experiments performed in a long tank where we consider the evolution of nonlinear deep-water surface gravity waves with the envelope in the form of a large-scale rectangular barrier. Our experiments reveal that, for a range of initial parameters, the nonlinear wave packet is not disintegrated by the Benjamin-Feir instability but exhibits a specific, strongly nonlinear modulation, which propagates from the edges of the wavepacket towards the center with finite speed. Using numerical tools of nonlinear spectral analysis of experimental data we identify the observed envelope wave structures with focusing dispersive dam break flows, a peculiar type of dispersive shock waves recently described in the framework of the semi-classical limit of the 1D focusing nonlinear Schr"odinger equation (1D-NLSE). Our experimental results are shown to be in a good quantitative agreement with the predictions of the semi-classical 1D-NLSE theory. This is the first observation of the persisting dispersive shock wave dynamics in a modulationally unstable water wave system.

Item Type: Article
Subjects: F300 Physics
G100 Mathematics
H800 Chemical, Process and Energy Engineering
Department: Faculties > Engineering and Environment > Mathematics, Physics and Electrical Engineering
Depositing User: Elena Carlaw
Date Deposited: 24 Feb 2020 15:09
Last Modified: 31 Jul 2021 18:20

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