Role of the basin boundary conditions in gravity wave turbulence

Abstract : Gravity wave turbulence is studied experimentally in a large wave basin where irregular waves are generated unidirectionally. The role of the basin boundary conditions (absorbing or reflecting) and of the forcing properties are investigated. To that purpose, an absorbing sloping beach opposite to the wavemaker can be replaced by a reflecting vertical wall. We observe that the wave field properties depend strongly on these boundary conditions. Quasi-one dimensional field of nonlinear waves propagate before to be damped by the beach 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, which is the value predicted by the weak turbulence theory. The physical mechanisms involved are probably different according to the boundary condition used, but cannot be easily discriminated with only temporal measurements. We have 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 is evaluated and found to be compatible with a recent theoretical value.
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Luc Deike, Benjamin Miquel, Pablo Gutiérrez-Matus, Timothée Jamin, Benoit Semin, et al.. Role of the basin boundary conditions in gravity wave turbulence. Journal of Fluid Mechanics, Cambridge University Press (CUP), 2015, 781, pp.196 - 225. ⟨10.1017/jfm.2015.494⟩. ⟨hal-01096141v2⟩

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