Laboratory Experiments with Solitary Wave

by Ehud Naheer, (A.M.ASCE), Research Engr.; Coastal and Marine Engrg. Research Inst., Technion, Haifa, Israel,

Serial Information: Journal of the Waterway, Port, Coastal and Ocean Division, 1978, Vol. 104, Issue 4, Pg. 421-436

Document Type: Journal Paper


Solitary waves are generated in a wave tank by a piston-type wave generator. The measured surface profile, the wave celerity, and the near-bottom fluid particle velocity under the waves are compared to those given by the approximate solutions of Boussinesq, McCowan, and Laitone. It is found that, although Boussinesq's and McCowan's theories are of lower order of approximation than Laitone's theory, they better present the surface profile and the fluid particle velocity of the wave. The wave celerity, on the other hand, is not presented well by McCowan's theory. It is also found that the differences between the theories increase with increasing wave height to water depth ratio. Calculations of the fluid particle velocity near the bottom show that the three theories differ significantly when used to describe the fluid particle velocity square. It is recommended to generally use Boussinesq's theory as it represents the overall solitary wave better than the other two.

Subject Headings: Particle velocity | Wave velocity | Wave tanks | Surface waves | Wave generation | Boussinesq equations | Solitary waves | Velocity profile

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