A series of experiments were conducted in a wind-wave tank facility in Marseilles (France) to study the effects of preexisting swell conditions (represented by long mechanically generated waves) on wind-wave growth with fetch. Both monochromatic and irregular (JONSWAP-type) long-wave conditions with different values of wave steepness have been generated in the presence of a constant wind forcing, for several wind velocities. A spectral analysis of temporal wave signals combined with airflow measurements allowed for the study of the evolution of both wave systems with the aim of identifying the interaction mechanisms transportable to prototype scale. In particular, a specific method is used to separate the two wave systems in the measured bimodal spectra. In fetch-limited conditions, pure wind-wave growth is in accordance with anterior experiments, but differs from the prototype scale in terms of energy and frequency variations with fetch. Monochromatic long waves are shown to reduce the energy of the wind-waves significantly, as it was observed in anterior laboratory experiments. The addition of JONSWAP-type long waves instead results in a downshift of the wind-wave peak frequency but no significant energy reduction. Overall, it is observed that the presence of long waves affects the wind-wave energy and frequency variations with fetch. Finally, in the presence of JONSWAP-type long waves, variations of wind-wave energy and peak frequency with fetch appear in close agreement with the wind-wave growth observed at prototype scale both in terms of variations and nondimensional magnitude.
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