Note on wavefront dislocation in surface water waves

N. Karjanto, Embrecht W.C. van Groesen

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    At singular points of a wave field, where the amplitude vanishes, the phase may become singular and wavefront dislocation may occur. In this Letter we investigate for wave fields in one spatial dimension the appearance of these essentially linear phenomena. We introduce the Chu–Mei quotient as it is known to appear in the ‘nonlinear dispersion relation’ for wave groups as a consequence of the nonlinear transformation of the complex amplitude to real phase-amplitude variables. We show that unboundedness of this quotient at a singular point, related to unboundedness of the local wavenumber and frequency, is a generic property and that it is necessary for the occurrence of phase singularity and wavefront dislocation, while these phenomena are generic too.We also show that the ‘soliton on finite background’, an explicit solution of the NLS equation and a model for modulational instability leading to extreme waves, possesses wavefront dislocations and unboundedness of the Chu–Mei quotient.
    Original languageUndefined
    Article number10.1016/j.physleta.2007.06.064
    Pages (from-to)173-179
    Number of pages7
    JournalPhysics letters A
    Issue number07ex1846/3
    Publication statusPublished - 2007


    • Soliton on Finite Background
    • EWI-11453
    • IR-64481
    • Chu–Mei quotient
    • METIS-245796
    • Nonlinear dispersion relation
    • Vanishing amplitude
    • Wavefront dislocation
    • Phase singularity

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