TY - JOUR

T1 - Unstable Stokes Waves

AU - Hur, Vera Mikyoung

AU - Yang, Zhao

N1 - Funding Information:
VMH is supported by the NSF award DMS-2009981.
Publisher Copyright:
© 2023, The Author(s), under exclusive licence to Springer-Verlag GmbH, DE, part of Springer Nature.

PY - 2023/8

Y1 - 2023/8

N2 - We investigate the spectral instability of a 2 π/ κ periodic Stokes wave of sufficiently small amplitude, traveling in water of unit depth, under gravity. Numerical evidence suggests instability whenever the unperturbed wave is resonant with its infinitesimal perturbations. This has not been analytically studied except for the Benjamin–Feir instability in the vicinity of the origin of the complex plane. Here we develop a periodic Evans function approach to give an alternative proof of the Benjamin–Feir instability and, also, a first proof of spectral instability away from the origin. Specifically, we prove instability near the origin for κ> κ1: = 1.3627827 ⋯ , and instability due to resonance of order two so long as an index function is positive. Validated numerics establishes that the index function is indeed positive for some κ< κ1 , whereby there exists a Stokes wave that is spectrally unstable even though it is insusceptible to the Benjamin–Feir instability. The proofs involve center manifold reduction, Floquet theory, and methods of ordinary and partial differential equations. Numerical evaluation reveals that the index function remains positive unless κ= 1.8494040 ⋯ . Therefore we conjecture that all Stokes waves of sufficiently small amplitude are spectrally unstable. For the proof of the conjecture, one has to verify that the index function is positive for κ sufficiently small.

AB - We investigate the spectral instability of a 2 π/ κ periodic Stokes wave of sufficiently small amplitude, traveling in water of unit depth, under gravity. Numerical evidence suggests instability whenever the unperturbed wave is resonant with its infinitesimal perturbations. This has not been analytically studied except for the Benjamin–Feir instability in the vicinity of the origin of the complex plane. Here we develop a periodic Evans function approach to give an alternative proof of the Benjamin–Feir instability and, also, a first proof of spectral instability away from the origin. Specifically, we prove instability near the origin for κ> κ1: = 1.3627827 ⋯ , and instability due to resonance of order two so long as an index function is positive. Validated numerics establishes that the index function is indeed positive for some κ< κ1 , whereby there exists a Stokes wave that is spectrally unstable even though it is insusceptible to the Benjamin–Feir instability. The proofs involve center manifold reduction, Floquet theory, and methods of ordinary and partial differential equations. Numerical evaluation reveals that the index function remains positive unless κ= 1.8494040 ⋯ . Therefore we conjecture that all Stokes waves of sufficiently small amplitude are spectrally unstable. For the proof of the conjecture, one has to verify that the index function is positive for κ sufficiently small.

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U2 - 10.1007/s00205-023-01889-2

DO - 10.1007/s00205-023-01889-2

M3 - Article

AN - SCOPUS:85161045351

SN - 0003-9527

VL - 247

JO - Archive for Rational Mechanics and Analysis

JF - Archive for Rational Mechanics and Analysis

IS - 4

M1 - 62

ER -