Bidirectional Whitham equations as models of waves on shallow water

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Hammack & Segur (1978) conducted a series of surface water-wave experiments in which the evolution of long waves of depression was measured and studied. This present work compares time series from these experiments with predictions from numerical simulations of the KdV, Serre, and five unidirectional and bidirectional Whitham-type equations. These comparisons show that the most accurate predictions come from models that contain accurate reproductions of the Euler phase velocity, sufficient nonlinearity, and surface tension effects. The main goal of this paper is to determine how accurately the bidirectional Whitham equations can model data from real-world experiments of waves on shallow water. Most interestingly, the unidirectional Whitham equation including surface tension provides the most accurate predictions for these experiments. If the initial horizontal velocities are assumed to be zero (the velocities were not measured in the experiments), the three bidirectional Whitham systems examined herein provide approximations that are significantly more accurate than the KdV and Serre equations. However, they are not as accurate as predictions obtained from the unidirectional Whitham equation.




Carter, J. D. (2018). Bidirectional Whitham equations as models of waves on shallow water. Wave Motion, 82, 51–61.

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