Focusing of unidirectional wave groups on deep water: an approximate nonlinear Schrödinger equation-based model

T. A. A. Adcock, P. H. Taylor


This paper sets out an approximate analytical model describing the nonlinear evolution of a Gaussian wave group in deep water. The model is derived using the conserved quantities of the cubic nonlinear Schrödinger equation (NLSE). The key parameter for describing the evolution is the amplitude-to-wavenumber bandwidth ratio, a quantity analogous to the Benjamin–Feir index for random sea-states. For smaller values of this parameter, the group is wholly dispersive, whereas for more nonlinear cases, solitons are formed. Our model predicts the characteristics and the evolution of the groups in both regimes. These predictions are found to be in good agreement with numerical simulations using the NLSE and are in qualitative agreement with numerical results from a fully nonlinear potential flow solver and experimental results.


    • Received April 27, 2009.
    • Accepted July 1, 2009.
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