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A problem in the classical theory of water waves: weakly nonlinear waves in the presence of vorticity

Lookup NU author(s): Professor Robin Johnson


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The classical water-wave problem is described, and two parameters (epsilon-amplitude; delta-long wave or shallow water) are introduced. We describe various nonlinear problems involving weak nonlinearity (epsilon --> 0) associated with equations of integrable type ("soliton" equations), but with vorticity. The familiar problem of propagation governed by the Korteweg-de Vries (KdV) equation is introduced, but allowing for an arbitrary distribution of vorticity. The effect of the constant vorticity on the solitary wave is described. The corresponding problem for the Nonlinear Schrodinger (NLS) equation is briefly mentioned but not explored here. The problem of two-way propagation (admitting head-on collisions), as described by the Boussinesq equation, is examined next. This leads to a new equation: the Boussinesq-type equation valid for constant vorticity. However, this cannot be transformed into an integrable Boussinesq equation (as is possible for the corresponding KdV and NLS equations). The solitary-wave solution for this new equation is presented. A description of the Camassa-Holm equation for water waves, with constant vorticity, with its solitary-wave solution, is described. Finally, we outline the problem of propagation of small-amplitude, large-radius ring waves over a flow with vorticity (representing a background flow in one direction). Some properties of this flow, for constant vorticity, are described.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Johnson RS

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: Journal of Nonlinear Mathematical Physics

Year: 2012

Volume: 19

Issue: s1

Print publication date: 28/11/2012

ISSN (print): 1402-9251

ISSN (electronic): 1776-0852

Publisher: World Scientific Publishing Co. Pte. Ltd.


DOI: 10.1142/S1402925112400128


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