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Experiments ad theory for anomalous waves induced by abrupt depth changes

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CAT - Complex analysis: techniques, applications and computations

I will discuss both laboratory experiments and a newly developed theory for randomized surface waves propagating over variable bathymetry. The experiments show that an abrupt depth change can qualitatively alter wave statistics, transforming an initially Gaussian wave field into a highly skewed one. In our experiments, the probability of a rogue wave can increase by a factor of 50 compared to what would be expected from normal statistics. I will discuss a theoretical framework based on dynamical and statistical analysis of the truncated KdV equations. This theory accurately captures many key features of the experiments, such as the skewed outgoing wave distributions and the associated excitation of higher frequencies in the spectrum.

This talk is part of the Isaac Newton Institute Seminar Series series.

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