Third M.I.T. Conference on Computational Fluid and Solid Mechanics June 14–17, 2005  

A new computational paradigm for the statistics of extreme events in nonlinear random seas

Francesco Fedele*
Department of Civil Engineering, University of Vermont, Burlington, VT 05405, USA

  Full Text
In this paper, the occurrence of extreme events due to the four-wave resonance interaction in weakly nonlinear water waves is investigated. The starting point is the Zakharov equation, which governs the dynamics of the spectral components of the surface displacement. It is proven that the optimal spectral components giving an extreme crest are solutions of a well-defined constrained optimization problem. A new analytical expression for the probability of exceedance of the wave crest is then proposed. The analytical results agree well with measurements data at the Draupner field and can be used for the prediction of freak wave events.

Keywords:  Extreme crest; Zakharov equation; Wave-wave interaction; Energy transfer; Probability of exceedance; Freak wave

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