Predicting rogue waves in random oceanic sea states

Research paper by Constance Schober, Alvaro Islas

Indexed on: 14 Dec '04Published on: 14 Dec '04Published in: Nonlinear Sciences - Pattern Formation and Solitons


Using the inverse spectral theory of the nonlinear Schrodinger (NLS) equation we correlate the development of rogue waves in oceanic sea states characterized by the JONSWAP spectrum with the proximity to homoclinic solutions of the NLS equation. We find in numerical simulations of the NLS equation that rogue waves develop for JONSWAP initial data that is ``near'' NLS homoclinic data, while rogue waves do not occur for JONSWAP data that is ``far'' from NLS homoclinic data. We show the nonlinear spectral decomposition provides a simple criterium for predicting the occurrence and strength of rogue waves (PACS: 92.10.Hm, 47.20.Ky, 47.35+i).