Dynamics of Strongly Nonlinear Internal Solitary Waves

in Shallow Water


Tae-Chang Jo

Arizona State University




The dynamics of large amplitude internal solitary waves were studied by using a strongly nonlinear long wave model. Higher-order nonlinear effects on the evolution of solitary waves were investigated by comparing numerical solutions of  the model with weakly nonlinear solutions. The local stability analysis of solitary wave solutions of the model was carried out, and an instability mechanism of the Kelvin-Helmholtz type was identified. With parameters in the stable range, the interactions of two solitary waves were simulated: both head-on and overtaking collisions. The deformation of a solitary wave propagating over non-uniform topography was simulated and the process of disintegration was described in detail.