Role of the basin boundary conditions in gravity wave turbulence

L. Deike1, B. Miquel2, P. Gutiérrez3, T. Jamin1, B. Semin2, M. Berhanu1, E. Falcon1, F. Bonnefoy4
1 Univ Paris Diderot, Sorbonne Cité, MSC, CNRS, UMR 7057, F-75 013 Paris, France
2 Ecole Normale Supérieure, LPS, UMR 8550 CNRS, F-75 205 Paris, France
3 CEA-Saclay, Sphynx, DSM, URA 2464 CNRS, F-91 191 Gif-sur-Yvette, France
4 Ecole Centrale de Nantes, LHEEA, UMR 6598 CNRS, F-44 321 Nantes, France

Reference: Journal of Fluid Mechanics 781, 196 - 225 (2015)



Gravity wave turbulence is  investigated experimentally in a large wave basin  in which irregular waves are generated unidirectionally. The roles of the basin boundary conditions (absorbing or reflecting) and of the forcing properties are investigated. To that purpose, an absorbing sloping beach opposite the wavemaker can be replaced by a reflecting vertical wall. We observe that the wave field properties depend strongly on these boundary conditions.  A quasi-one-dimensional field of nonlinear waves propagates toward the beach where they are damped whereas a more multidirectional wave field is observed with the wall. In both cases, the wave spectrum scales as a frequency-power law with an exponent that increases continuously with the forcing amplitude up to a value close to -4. The physical mechanisms involved most likely differ with the boundary condition used, but cannot be easily discriminated with only temporal measurements.  We also studied freely decaying gravity wave turbulence in the closed basin. No self-similar decay of the spectrum is observed, whereas its Fourier modes decay first as a time power law due to nonlinear mechanisms, and then exponentially due to linear viscous damping. We estimate the linear, nonlinear and dissipative time scales to test the time scale separation that highlights the important role of a large scale Fourier mode. By estimation of the mean energy flux from the initial decay of wave energy, the Kolmogorov-Zakharov constant of the weak turbulence theory is evaluated and found to be compatible with a recently obtained theoretical value.

PDF file    

Return to main page