Articles | Volume 11, issue 1
Special issue:
Research article
11 Jan 2011
Research article |  | 11 Jan 2011

The scenario of a single freak wave appearance in deep water – dispersive focusing mechanism framework

E. Pelinovsky, E. Shurgalina, and N. Chaikovskaya

Abstract. One of the possible mechanisms of the emergence of freak waves in deep water, based on the dispersive focusing of unidirectional wave packets is analysed. This mechanism is associated with the frequency dispersion of water waves and manifested in the interference of many spectral components, moving with different velocities. Formation of a single freak wave in a random wind wave field is considered in the frame of linear theory. The characteristic lifetime of an abnormal wave in the framework of this mechanism for typical conditions is approximately two minutes, thus, a rapid effect is difficult to predict and prepare for. A rogue wave quickly changes its shape from a high ridge to a deep depression.

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