Spatial evolution of young wind waves: numerical modelling verified by experiments

Lev Shemer*, Santosh Kumar Singh, Anna Chernyshova

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


A numerical model that allows one to study numerically the evolution of waves along the test section of a wind-wave tank is offered. The simulations are directly related to wind-wave tank experiments carried out for a range of steady wind velocities. At each wind forcing condition, the evolving wind-wave field is strongly non-homogeneous, with wave energy growth along the test section accompanied by frequency downshifting. The wave parameters measured at a short fetch serve as a basis for generating numerous realizations of the initial conditions in the Monte Carlo numerical simulations. The computations are based on a modified unidirectional spatial version of the Zakharov equation that accounts for wind input and dissipation and is applicable for the whole range of wind velocities employed. The model contains two empirical parameters that are selected by comparison of the experimental and numerical results; the same values of those parameters are applied for all wind forcing conditions. The availability of an experimentally verified numerical model allows one to study the contributions of nonlinear wave–wave interactions, dissipation and wind input separately. Special attention is given to accounting for the three-dimensional and random nature of wind waves as observed in experiments. The suggested model combines approaches adopted in the wind-wave growth theories by Miles and Phillips.

Original languageEnglish
Article numberA22
JournalJournal of Fluid Mechanics
StatePublished - 25 Oct 2020


  • channel flow
  • surface gravity waves
  • wind–wave interactions


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