Ship wakes: Kelvin or mach angle?

  • Rabaud M
  • Moisy F
  • 95


    Mendeley users who have this article in their library.
  • 52


    Citations of this article.


From the analysis of a set of airborne images of ship wakes, we show that the wake angles decrease as $U^{-1}$ at large velocities, in a way similar to the Mach cone for supersonic airplanes. This previously unnoticed Mach-like regime is in contradiction with the celebrated Kelvin prediction of a constant angle of $19.47\degree$ independent of the ship's speed. We propose here a model, confirmed by numerical simulations, in which the finite size of the disturbance explains this transition between the Kelvin and Mach regimes at a Froude number $Fr = U/\sqrt{gL} \simeq 0.5$, where $L$ is the hull ship length.

Get free article suggestions today

Mendeley saves you time finding and organizing research

Sign up here
Already have an account ?Sign in

Find this document


Cite this document

Choose a citation style from the tabs below

Save time finding and organizing research with Mendeley

Sign up for free