Loughborough University
Thesis-2015-Zhang.pdf (3.94 MB)

Mathematical modelling of nonlinear ring waves in a stratified fluid

Download (3.94 MB)
posted on 2015-09-02, 11:31 authored by Xizheng Zhang
Oceanic waves registered by satellite observations often have curvilinear fronts and propagate over various currents. In this thesis, we study long linear and weakly-nonlinear ring waves in a stratified fluid in the presence of a depth-dependent horizontal shear flow. It is shown that despite the clashing geometries of the waves and the shear flow, there exists a linear modal decomposition, which can be used to describe distortion of the wavefronts of surface and internal waves, and systematically derive a 2+1-dimensional cylindrical Korteweg-de Vries (cKdV)-type equation for the amplitudes of the waves. The general theory is applied to the case of the waves in a two-layer fluid with a piecewise-constant shear flow, with an emphasis on the effect of the shear flow on the geometry of the wavefronts. The distortion of the wavefronts is described by the singular solution (envelope of the general solution) of the nonlinear first order differential equation, constituting generalisation of the dispersion relation in this curvilinear geometry. There exists a striking difference in the shape of the wavefronts: the wavefront of the surface wave is elongated in the shear flow direction while the wavefront of the interfacial wave is squeezed in this direction. We solve the derived 2+1-dimensional cKdV-type equation numerically using a finite-difference scheme. The effects of nonlinearity and dispersion are studied by considering numerical results for surface and interfacial ring waves generated from a localised source with and without shear flow and the 2D dam break problem. In these examples, the linear and nonlinear surface waves are faster than interfacial waves, the wave height decreases faster at the surface, the shear flow leads to the wave height decreasing slower downstream and faster upstream, and the effect becomes more prominent as the shear flow strengthens.





  • Science


  • Mathematical Sciences


© Xizheng Zhang

Publisher statement

This work is made available according to the conditions of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International (CC BY-NC-ND 4.0) licence. Full details of this licence are available at: https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/4.0/

Publication date



A Doctoral Thesis. Submitted in partial fulfilment of the requirements for the award of Doctor of Philosophy of Loughborough University.


  • en