A scalar form of the complementary mild-slope equation

Yaron Toledo, Yehuda Agnon

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Mild-slope (MS) type equations are depth-integrated models, which predict under appropriate conditions refraction and diffraction of linear time-harmonic water waves. Among these equations, the complementary mild-slope equation (CMSE) was shown to give better agreement with exact two-dimensional linear theory compared to other MS-type equations. Nevertheless, it has a disadvantage of being a vector equation, i.e. it requires solving a system of two coupled partial differential equations. In addition, for three-dimensional problems, there is a difficulty in constructing the additional boundary condition needed for the solution. In the present work, it is shown how the vector CMSE can be transformed into an equivalent scalar equation using a pseudo-potential formulation. The pseudo-potential mild-slope equation (PMSE) preserves the accuracy of the CMSE while avoiding the need of an additional boundary condition. Furthermore, the PMSE significantly reduces the computational effort relative to the CMSE, since it is a scalar equation. The accuracy of the new model was tested numerically by comparing it to laboratory data and analytical solutions.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)407-416
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Fluid Mechanics
StatePublished - Aug 2010
Externally publishedYes


  • surface gravity waves


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