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# Wave Theory

Lessen Outcomes

## To describe wave theories, their

assumptions, applications and
limitations.
Wave Profiles
Wave
Waves at sea are Theories
very complex irregularity of wave shape

## General theories that described the wave behavior:

Wave Theory Reference Water Condition
Linear wave theory Airy (1845)
Deep water
Stoke wave theory Stokes (1847) (d/Lo > 0.5)
Fenton (1985)
Cnoidal wave theory Korteweg & De Vries (1895)
Keulegan & Patterson (1940) Transitional water
Svendsen (1974) (0.16 < d/Lo > 0.5)
Fenton (1979)

## Solitary wave theory Boussinesq, 1872 Shallow water

McCowan (1981) (d/Lo < 0.1)
Grimshaw (1971)
Fenton (1972)
Linear Wave Theory

## The simplest wave theory is the first-order, small-amplitude, or Airy wave

theory which will hereafter be called linear wave theory.
It provides a useful first approximation to wave motion.
The basis for the wave theory is the sinusoidal wave, and it constitutes the 1st
order of approximation of the Stokes Theory.
Most commonly used wave theory due to less mathematically complex.
Both crest and trough amplitudes must be equal.
Most accurate for low amplitude waves in deep water (H<<L); less accurate
for predicting wave behavior in shallow water.
Can be applied to both sea and swell but best to characterize swell wave with
its small steepness (H/L).
Non-Linear Wave
Theory
When waves become large or travel toward shore into shallow
water, higher-order or non-linear wave theories are often required
to describe wave phenomena.
Stoke wave theory (Stokes, 1847)
Solitary wave theory (Boussinesq, 1872)
Cnoidal wave theory (Korteweg & De Vries, 1895)

For the 1st order, still water level (SWL) is defined as the level midway
between wave crest and trough. But for higher order wave theories a rise of
SWL from the origin may be expected.
Stokes Wave Theory

Mathematically complex as it takes into account the effects of wave height &
velocity.
Higher order Stokes approximations can better describe the finite amplitude
waves , the kinematics and pressure prediction.
The 5th-order Stokes finite-amplitude wave theory is widely used in practical
application both in deep- and shallow-water wave studies.
Cnoidal Wave
Theory

## Longer troughs and higher crests.

Distortion of the wave shape is due to interference from the bottom.
Applicable for shallow water.
Solitary Wave Theory

## An isolated crest moving in very shallow water which about to break.

Applicable for modeling of tsunami waves.
for distorted shallow
water waves

describes an isolated
wave
for very shallow water

## linear, sinusoidal wave

most accurate for low
amplitude waves in deep
water

## can be used for deep-,

transitional- and shallow-
water waves
it accounts the effect of
wave height on velocity
The End
for distorted shallow
water waves

describes an isolated
wave
for very shallow water

## linear, sinusoidal wave

most accurate for low
amplitude waves in deep
water

## can be used for deep-,

transitional- and shallow-
water waves
it accounts the effect of
wave height on velocity