Nonlinear Internal Waves

  • Lawrence A. Mysak
Part of the International Centre for Mechanical Sciences book series (CISM, volume 286)


For centuries sea-going explorers and navigators have been aware of the dangers associated with large-amplitude surface gravity waves. Particularly frightening are the giant waves commonly found around the southern tips of South Africa and South America. Today’s explorer searching for submarine resources such as oil and minerals has to be on the look out for an additional potentially dangerous denizen in the ocean — the large-amplitude internal wave (see Fig. 1). Such slowly propagating underwater waves can have amplitudes of 100 m and more, and associated current speeds of up to a few meters per second. With the approach of a train of these waves, a vessel conducting exploratory drilling must take the slack out of its drilling riser (protective covering of the drill shaft) and cease drilling operations. Clearly, as well as having an intrinsic beauty for all of us to behold, large (nonlinear) internal waves have a tremendous impact on technology and engineering developments in the ocean.


Solitary Wave Internal Wave Phase Speed Solitary Wave Solution Stratify Fluid 
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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Wien 1984

Authors and Affiliations

  • Lawrence A. Mysak
    • 1
  1. 1.Departments of Mathematics and OceanographyThe University of British ColumbiaVancouverCanada

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