On the critical free-surface flow over localised topography

J. S. Keeler, B. J. Binder, M. G. Blyth

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Flow over bottom topography at critical Froude number is examined with a focus on steady, forced solitary wave solutions with algebraic decay in the far-field, and their stability. Using the forced Korteweg-de Vries (fKdV) equation the weakly-nonlinear steady solution space is examined in detail for the particular case of a Gaussian dip using a combination of asymptotic analysis and numerical computations. Non-uniqueness is established and a seemingly infinite set of steady solutions is uncovered. Non-uniqueness is also demonstrated for the fully nonlinear problem via boundary-integral calculations. It is shown analytically that critical flow solutions have algebraic decay in the far-field both for the fKdV equation and for the fully nonlinear problem and, moreover, that the leading-order form of the decay is the same in both cases. The linear stability of the steady fKdV solutions is examined via eigenvalue computations and by a numerical study of the initial value fKdV problem. It is shown that there exists a linearly stable steady solution in which the deflection from the otherwise uniform surface level is everywhere negative.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)73-96
Number of pages24
JournalJournal of Fluid Mechanics
Early online date26 Oct 2017
Publication statusPublished - 10 Dec 2017

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