Experimental study of three-wave interactions among capillary-gravity surface waves

Florence Haudin, Annette Cazaubiel, Luc Deike, Timothée Jamin, Eric Falcon, Michael Berhanu

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32 Scopus citations


In propagating wave systems, three- or four-wave resonant interactions constitute a classical nonlinear mechanism exchanging energy between the different scales. Here we investigate three-wave interactions for gravity-capillary surface waves in a closed laboratory tank. We generate two crossing wave trains and we study their interaction. Using two optical methods, a local one (laser doppler vibrometry) and a spatiotemporal one (diffusive light photography), a third wave of smaller amplitude is detected, verifying the three-wave resonance conditions in frequency and in wave number. Furthermore, by focusing on the stationary regime and by taking into account viscous dissipation, we directly estimate the growth rate of the resonant mode. The latter is then compared to the predictions of the weakly nonlinear triadic resonance interaction theory. The obtained results confirm qualitatively and extend previous experimental results obtained only for collinear wave trains. Finally, we discuss the relevance of three-wave interaction mechanisms in recent experiments studying gravity-capillary turbulence.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number043110
JournalPhysical Review E
Issue number4
StatePublished - Apr 11 2016

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Statistical and Nonlinear Physics
  • Statistics and Probability


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