, Volume 185, Issue 1, pp 159-168
Date: 23 Aug 2010

Under which conditions the Benjamin-Feir instability may spawn an extreme wave event: A fully nonlinear approach

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Within the framework of the fully nonlinear water waves equations, we consider a Stokes wavetrain modulated by the Benjamin-Feir instability in the presence of both viscous dissipation and forcing due to wind. The wind model corresponds to the Miles’ theory. By introducing wind effect on the waves, the present paper extends the previous works of [6] and [7] who neglected wind input. It is also a continuation of the study developed by [9] who considered a similar problem within the framework of the NLS equation. The marginal stability curve derived from the fully nonlinear numerical simulations coincides with the curve obtained by [9] from a linear stability analysis. Furthermore, it is found that wind input goes in the subharmonic mode of the modulation whereas dissipation damps the fundamental mode of the initial Stokes wavetrain.