The fourth-order evolution equation for deep-water gravity-capillary waves.

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18 Citations (Scopus)


The stability of a train of nonlinear gravity capillary waves on the surface of an ideal fluid of infinite depth is considered. An evolution equation is derived for the wave envelope, which is correct to fourth order in the wave steepness. The derivation is made from the Zakharov equation under the assumption of a narrow band of waves, and including the full form of the interaction coefficient for gravity capillary waves. It is assumed that conditions are away from subharmonic resonant wavelengths. In general the mean flow effects for pure capillary waves are of opposite sign to those of pure gravity waves. The second order corrections to first order stability properties are shown to depend on the interaction between the mean flow and the envelope frequency dispersion term in the governing equation. The results are shown to be in agreement with some recent computations of the full problem for sufficiently small values of the wave steepness.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)359-372
Number of pages14
JournalProceedings of the Royal Society A: Mathematical and Physical Sciences
Issue number1823
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 1985


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