The Evolution of Internal Wave Undular Bores: Comparisons of a Fully Nonlinear Numerical Model with Weakly Nonlinear Theory

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  • 1 Department of Physics and Physical Oceanography, Memorial University of Newfoundland, St John's, Newfoundland, Canada
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Abstract

The validity of shallow-water, weakly nonlinear theory for describing the evolution of a single large internal wave depression into an undular bore is explored by comparing theoretical results with results obtained from a fully nonlinear numerical model. Inclusion of second-order nonlinear and dispersive terms significantly improves the agreement. Solutions of the KdV and extended KdV equations, which includes second-order nonlinearity, overpredict the wave amplitudes in the undular bore. Inclusion of all second-order nonlinear and dispersive terms significantly improves the predicted amplitudes; however, the resulting evolution equation breaks down for sufficiently large waves. This can be corrected by modifying the linear terms in the equation to give a modified equation. Solutions of this modified second-order equation are in much better agreement with the model results than are the solutions of the KdV equation and the extended KdV equations.

Abstract

The validity of shallow-water, weakly nonlinear theory for describing the evolution of a single large internal wave depression into an undular bore is explored by comparing theoretical results with results obtained from a fully nonlinear numerical model. Inclusion of second-order nonlinear and dispersive terms significantly improves the agreement. Solutions of the KdV and extended KdV equations, which includes second-order nonlinearity, overpredict the wave amplitudes in the undular bore. Inclusion of all second-order nonlinear and dispersive terms significantly improves the predicted amplitudes; however, the resulting evolution equation breaks down for sufficiently large waves. This can be corrected by modifying the linear terms in the equation to give a modified equation. Solutions of this modified second-order equation are in much better agreement with the model results than are the solutions of the KdV equation and the extended KdV equations.

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