On the Existence of a Fully Developed Wind-Sea Spectrum

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  • 1 Max-Planck-Institut für Meteorologie, Hamburg, FRG
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Abstract

We consider the energy transfer equation for well-developed ocean waves under the influence of wind, and study the conditions for the existence of an equilibrium solution in which wind input, wave-wave interaction and dissipation balance each other. For the wind input we take the parameterization proposed by Snyder and others, which was based on their measurements in the Bight of Abaco and which agrees with Miles's theory. The wave-wave interaction is computed with an algorithm given recently by S. Hasselmann and others. The dissipation is less well-known, but we will make the general assumption that it is quasi-linear in the wave spectrum with a factor coefficient depending only on frequency and integral spectral parameters. In the first part of this paper we investigate whether the assumption that the equilibrium spectrum exits and is given by the Pierson-Moskowitz spectrum with a standard type of angular distribution leads to a reasonable dissipation function. We find that this is not the case. Even if one balances the total rate of change for each frequency (which is possible), a strong angular imbalance remains. Thus the assumed source terms are not consistent with this type of asymptotic spectrum. In the second part of the paper we choose a different approach. We assume that the dissipation is given and perform numerical experiments simulating fetch-limited growth, to see under which conditions a stationary solution can be reached. For the dissipation we take K. Haseelmann's form with two unknown parameters. From our analysis it follows that for a certain range of values of these parameters, a quasi-equilibrium solution results. We estimate the relation between dissipation parameters and asymptotic growth rates. For equilibrium spectra, the input, dissipation and nonlinear-transfer source functions are all significant in the energy-containing range of the spectrum. The energy balance proposed by Zakharov and Filonenko in 1966 and Kitaigorodskii in 1983, in which dissipation is assumed to be significant only at high frequencies, yields a spectrum that grows too rapidly and does not approach equilibrium. One of our equilibrium solutions has a one-dimensional spectrum that lies close to the Pierson-Moskowitz spectrum. However, the angular distribution differs in some important features from standard spreading functions. The energy balance of this equilibrium spectrum is analysed in detail.

Abstract

We consider the energy transfer equation for well-developed ocean waves under the influence of wind, and study the conditions for the existence of an equilibrium solution in which wind input, wave-wave interaction and dissipation balance each other. For the wind input we take the parameterization proposed by Snyder and others, which was based on their measurements in the Bight of Abaco and which agrees with Miles's theory. The wave-wave interaction is computed with an algorithm given recently by S. Hasselmann and others. The dissipation is less well-known, but we will make the general assumption that it is quasi-linear in the wave spectrum with a factor coefficient depending only on frequency and integral spectral parameters. In the first part of this paper we investigate whether the assumption that the equilibrium spectrum exits and is given by the Pierson-Moskowitz spectrum with a standard type of angular distribution leads to a reasonable dissipation function. We find that this is not the case. Even if one balances the total rate of change for each frequency (which is possible), a strong angular imbalance remains. Thus the assumed source terms are not consistent with this type of asymptotic spectrum. In the second part of the paper we choose a different approach. We assume that the dissipation is given and perform numerical experiments simulating fetch-limited growth, to see under which conditions a stationary solution can be reached. For the dissipation we take K. Haseelmann's form with two unknown parameters. From our analysis it follows that for a certain range of values of these parameters, a quasi-equilibrium solution results. We estimate the relation between dissipation parameters and asymptotic growth rates. For equilibrium spectra, the input, dissipation and nonlinear-transfer source functions are all significant in the energy-containing range of the spectrum. The energy balance proposed by Zakharov and Filonenko in 1966 and Kitaigorodskii in 1983, in which dissipation is assumed to be significant only at high frequencies, yields a spectrum that grows too rapidly and does not approach equilibrium. One of our equilibrium solutions has a one-dimensional spectrum that lies close to the Pierson-Moskowitz spectrum. However, the angular distribution differs in some important features from standard spreading functions. The energy balance of this equilibrium spectrum is analysed in detail.

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