Physical and Dynamical Scales for Generation of Wind Waves

by Jin Wu, Principal Res. Sci.; Hydronautics, Inc., Laurel, MD,

Serial Information: Journal of the Waterways, Harbors and Coastal Engineering Division, 1972, Vol. 98, Issue 2, Pg. 163-175

Document Type: Journal Paper


An analysis is given of relevant physical scales on which coupling takes place between long and short waves, and dynamic scales for coupling of wind and waves, in the generation of wind waves. Based on these scales and on a separation criterion, it is argued that the airflow separates from dominant waves in the laboratory and from ripples superimposed on dominant waves in the field. This difference may account for the discrepancy between the laboratory-determined growth rate and that observed in the field. Finally, some consideration is given to observational evidence and critical scales relating to the nonlinear mechanism for wave generation.

Subject Headings: Wind waves | Wave generation | Coupling | Nonlinear waves | Dynamic analysis | Long waves | Air flow | Nonlinear analysis

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