Observations of Nonlinear Processes in Surface Wave Generation

  • Craig E. Dorman
  • Erik Mollo-Christensen


Arguments are presented that suggest the possible existence of an air-sea interaction soliton, that is a wave group of permanent type envelope, of a significant half-life, and which consist of coupled disturbances in the air and water velocity fields It is argued that instabilities are modulationally unstable, and thus, to a linear approximation, favor the generation of groups. The phase between wind and sea surface disturbances for a disturbance of permanent type is shown to be consistent with observations. Other experimental evidence is cited in support of the interaction soliton. The possible usefulness of such a description of wind generation is also discussed.


Modulational Instability Wave Group Stokes Wave Surface Wave Generation Interaction Soliton 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. Chu, V.H. and C.C. Mei, 1971. The non-linear evolution of Stokes waves in deep water. J. Fluid Mech., 47, 337–351.ADSMATHCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Dorman, C.E., 1971. The Relationship between Microscales and Wind Wave Development. Report 71–6. Department of Meteorology, Massachusetts Institute of Technology.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Gaster, M., 1962. A note on the relation between temporally-increasing and spatially-increasing disturbances on hydrodynamic stability. J. Fluid Mech., 14, 222–224.MathSciNetADSMATHCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Miles, J.W., 1957. On the generation of surface waves by shear flows. J. Fluid Mech. 3, 185–204.MathSciNetADSMATHCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Mollo-Christensen, E. and A. Ramamonjiarisoa, 1977. Occurrence of Stokes wave groups in random wave fields.Google Scholar
  6. Ramamonjiarisoa, A., 1974. Sur l’évolution des spectres d’energie des vagues de vent a fetch court. Fifth Liege Colloquium on Ocean Hydrodynamics.Google Scholar
  7. Ruggles, K.W., 1969. Observation of the wind field in the first ten meters above the ocean. Ph.D. Thesis, MIT Department of Meteorology.Google Scholar
  8. Whitman, G.B., 1965. Nonlinear dispersion of water waves. J. Fluid Mech., 27, 399–412.ADSGoogle Scholar
  9. Whitman, G.B., 1974. Linear and Nonlinear Waves. John Wiley & Sons.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Plenum Press, New York 1978

Authors and Affiliations

  • Craig E. Dorman
    • 1
  • Erik Mollo-Christensen
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of MeteorologyMassachusetts Institute of TechnologyCambridgeUSA

Personalised recommendations