Almost extreme waves

Sergey A. Dyachenko, Vera Mikyoung Hur, Denis A. Silantyev

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Numerically computed with high accuracy are periodic travelling waves at the free surface of a two-dimensional, infinitely deep, and constant vorticity flow of an incompressible inviscid fluid, under gravity, without the effects of surface tension. Of particular interest is the angle the fluid surface of an almost extreme wave makes with the horizontal. Numerically found are the following. (i) There is a boundary layer where the angle rises sharply from at the crest to a local maximum, which converges to, independently of the vorticity, as the amplitude increases towards that of the extreme wave, which displays a corner at the crest with a angle. (ii) There is an outer region where the angle descends to at the trough for negative vorticity, while it rises to a maximum, greater than, and then falls sharply to at the trough for large positive vorticity. (iii) There is a transition region where the angle oscillates about, resembling the Gibbs phenomenon. Numerical evidence suggests that the amplitude and frequency of the oscillations become independent of the vorticity as the wave profile approaches the extreme form.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number955 A17
JournalJournal of Fluid Mechanics
StatePublished - Jan 25 2023


  • Waves/Free-surface Flows: Surface gravity waves
  • Mathematical Foundations: Computational methods
  • computational methods
  • surface gravity waves

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Mechanics of Materials
  • Mechanical Engineering
  • Applied Mathematics


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