Modulation instability of Stokes wave → freak wave

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Abstract

Formation of waves of large amplitude (freak waves, killer waves) at the surface of the ocean is studied numerically. We have observed that freak waves have the same ratio of the wave height to the wave length as limiting Stokes waves. When a freak wave reaches this limiting state, it breaks. The physical mechanism of freak wave formation is discussed.

From Pis’ma v Zhurnal Éksperimental’noĭ i Teoreticheskoĭ Fiziki, Vol. 81, No. 6, 2005, pp. 318–322.
Original English Text Copyright © 2005 by Dyachenko, Zakharov.
This article was submitted by the authors in English.