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International Journal of Oceanography
Volume 2012 (2012), Article ID 314064, 8 pages
Research Article

Analysis of Interfering Fully Developed, Colinear Deepwater Waves

Geology Department, Faculty of Physical and Mathematical Sciences, University of Chile/Andean Geothermal Center of Excellence, Post-office Box 13158, Santiago, Chile

Received 9 November 2011; Revised 29 December 2011; Accepted 17 January 2012

Academic Editor: Lakshmi Kantha

Copyright © 2012 J. P. Le Roux. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


The sea surface is normally irregular as a result of dissimilar waves generated in different areas. To describe such a sea state, various methods have been proposed, but there is no general consensus as to the best characterizing parameters of the interwaves. Three simple methods are proposed here to calculate a characteristic interwave period, length, and height for fully developed, colinear deepwater waves. The results of this study indicate that the interwave period and length are equal or very close to the period and length of the dominant component wave, irrespective of the periods of the subordinate waves. In cases where the dominant wave period is double or more than double the periods of the subordinate waves, the wave period, length and height are within 4% of the dominant wave parameters, so that such interfering, irregular waves have virtually the same characteristics as monochromatic waves. Secondary, individual interwaves propagate at the velocity of the component wave with the shortest period, that is, slower than the primary interwaves which have the same celerity as the dominant component wave.