Toggle Main Menu Toggle Search

Open Access padlockePrints

The classical problem of water waves: a reservoir of integrable and nearly-integrable equations

Lookup NU author(s): Professor Robin Johnson


Full text for this publication is not currently held within this repository. Alternative links are provided below where available.


In this contribution, we describe the simplest, classical problem in water waves, and use this as a vehicle to outline the techniques that we adopt to analyse this particular approach to the derivation of soliton-type equations. The surprise, perhaps, is that such an apparently transparent set of equations (the Euler equation for an incompressible fluid, the equation of mass conservation and the simplest bottom and surface conditions) contains so may different- and important-equations. We will briefly show how such equations are generated, by carefully describing the asymptotic procedures that we adopt. We will then present a number of examples, some of which will be the familiar integrable equations (Korteweg-de Vries (KdV), Nonlinear Schrodinger (NLS)) and also variants of these which are, in a sense, nearly-integrable. These will include, for example, a variable coefficient KdV equation, a nearly concentric KdV equation and higher-order NLS equation. Some of these results have significant consequences for water-wave propagation; for example, the existence of a KdV equation for arbitrary velocity profiles below the surface helps to explain why solitary waves are observed in nature. We conclude with a discussion of some of the more recent, exciting work on the role of the Camassa-Holm (CH) equation in water waves. We will also outline how, for this type of problem, a number of interesting and relevant variants of the CH equation can arise.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Johnson RS

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: Journal of Nonlinear Mathematical Physics

Year: 2003

Volume: 10

Pages: 72-92

ISSN (print): 1402-9251

ISSN (electronic): 1776-0852

Publisher: World Scientific Publishing


DOI: 10.2991/jnmp.2003.10.s1.6


Altmetrics provided by Altmetric