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Phys Rev Lett. 2001 Jun 18;86(25):5831-4.

Freak waves in random oceanic sea states.

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Dipartimento di Fisica Generale, Università di Torino, Via Pietro Giuria 1, 10125 Torino, Italy.


Freak waves are very large, rare events in a random ocean wave train. Here we study their generation in a random sea state characterized by the Joint North Sea Wave Project spectrum. We assume, to cubic order in nonlinearity, that the wave dynamics are governed by the nonlinear Schrödinger (NLS) equation. We show from extensive numerical simulations of the NLS equation how freak waves in a random sea state are more likely to occur for large values of the Phillips parameter alpha and the enhancement coefficient gamma. Comparison with linear simulations is also reported.

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