• Research,

Rogue waves form from random waves - tests in the towing tank

Rogue waves are very powerful ocean waves, which can form on both calm and rough seas. This sudden and unpredictable phenomenon may be rare, but it needs to be studied. It has recently been the subject of joint collaboration between researchers from Centrale Nantes - via the LHEEA - the CNRS and the universities of Paris and Lille. Tests in wave tanks have shown that a set of random waves can also provoke the formation of rogue waves, thus providing better understanding.

on September 15, 2020

The LHEEA was involved in two aspects of this project, deploying the complementary capabilities of its simulation and tank test facilities. 

On the simulation side, the teams used the free-to-access HOS-NWT software developed at the LHEEA. This software, based on the High-Order Spectral (HOS) method, is used to generate and propagate highly non-linear wave fields in tanks of random constant depth. As these simulations faithfully reproduce tank tests, complementary data is obtained by running the simulations with different sets of parameters from those used in the tests.

Tank testing took place in the 140m-long Centrale Nantes towing tank. Waves are generated by moving a perfectly controlled articulated flap, thus reproducing of sea states at a reduced scale, as observed at real size in the ocean. During these tests, random waves were generated for 5 consecutive hours in the tank. The combination of certain random waves led to extreme phenomena causing rogue waves.

These tests led to the publication of an article in the journal Physical Review Fluids:

Emergence of Peregrine solitons in integrable turbulence for deep water gravity waves
G. Michel, F. Bonnefoy, G. Ducrozet, G. Prabhudesai, A. Cazaubiel, F. Copie, A. Tikan, P. Suret, S. Randoux, and E. Falcon

Physical Review Fluids 5, 082801(R) (2020) – Rapid Communication

DOI: 10.1103/PhysRevFluids.5.082801

Learn more:

Published on September 16, 2020 Updated on September 17, 2020