Journal cover Journal topic
Natural Hazards and Earth System Sciences An interactive open-access journal of the European Geosciences Union
Nat. Hazards Earth Syst. Sci., 14, 959-968, 2014
© Author(s) 2014. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License.
Research article
24 Apr 2014
Modeling extreme wave heights from laboratory experiments with the nonlinear Schrödinger equation
H. D. Zhang1, C. Guedes Soares1, Z. Cherneva1, and M. Onorato2 1Centre for Marine Technology and Engineering (CENTEC), Instituto Superior Técnico, Technical University of Lisbon, Lisbon, Portugal
2Dipartimento di Fisica, Universitá di Torino, Via P. Giuria 1, 10125 Torino, Italy
Abstract. Spatial variation of nonlinear wave groups with different initial envelope shapes is theoretically studied first, confirming that the simplest nonlinear theoretical model is capable of describing the evolution of propagating wave packets in deep water. Moreover, three groups of laboratory experiments run in the wave basin of CEHIPAR (Canal de Experiencias Hidrodinámicas de El Pardo, known also as El Pardo Model Basin) was founded in 1928 by the Spanish Navy. are systematically compared with the numerical simulations of the nonlinear Schrödinger equation. Although a little overestimation is detected, especially in the set of experiments characterized by higher initial wave steepness, the numerical simulation still displays a high degree of agreement with the laboratory experiments. Therefore, the nonlinear Schrödinger equation catches the essential characteristics of the extreme waves and provides an important physical insight into their generation. The modulation instability, resulting from the quasi-resonant four-wave interaction in a unidirectional sea state, can be indicated by the coefficient of kurtosis, which shows an appreciable correlation with the extreme wave height and hence is used in the modified Edgeworth–Rayleigh distribution. Finally, some statistical properties on the maximum wave heights in different sea states have been related with the initial Benjamin–Feir index.

Citation: Zhang, H. D., Guedes Soares, C., Cherneva, Z., and Onorato, M.: Modeling extreme wave heights from laboratory experiments with the nonlinear Schrödinger equation, Nat. Hazards Earth Syst. Sci., 14, 959-968,, 2014.
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