Spanwise modal competition in cross-waves

Hassan Ayanle*, Andrew J. Bernoff, Seth Lichter

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

11 Scopus citations


An asymptotic theory for cross-waves generated by an oscillating wavemaker in a semi-infinite rectangular wave tank is derived for the limit of large mode number. The possibility of multiple mode excitation is included by introducing a spanwise modulation. The partial differential equations governing the evolution of inviscid cross-waves are shown to be two coupled nonlinear Schrödinger equations. Energy dissipation in the system is taken into account including a linear damping term. A center manifold analysis is used to reduce the PDEs to a system of coupled Landau equations in the neighborhood of a codimension-two point where two adjacent spanwise modes are marginally stable. Four possible steady states of the system are found, one of which is a mixed-mode superposition of two spanwise modes. A Hopf bifurcation from the mixed mode is predicted for some parameters; extending the system to higher order allows the stability of this bifurcation to be determined in terms of perturbations to a Hamiltonian system. Both subcritical and supercritical bifurcation are possible. An experimental study in the neighborhood of a codimension-two point shows good agreement with the theoretical predictions including the discovery of a mixed-mode state.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)87-104
Number of pages18
JournalPhysica D: Nonlinear Phenomena
Issue number1
StatePublished - May 1990

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Statistical and Nonlinear Physics
  • Mathematical Physics
  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Applied Mathematics


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