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Lagrangian transport for two-dimensional deep-water surface gravity wave groups

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Original languageEnglish
JournalProceedings of the Royal Society A: Mathematical, Physical and Engineering Sciences
Issue number2192
StatePublished - 24 Aug 2016


The Lagrangian trajectories of neutrally buoyant particles underneath surface gravity wave groups are dictated by two physical phenomena: the Stokes drift results in a net displacement of particles in the direction of propagation of the group, whereas the Eulerian return flow, as described by the multi-chromatic wave theory of Longuet-Higgins & Stewart (1962 J. Fluid Mech. 13, 481–504. (doi:10.1017/S0022112062000877)), transports such particles in the opposite direction. By pursuing a separation of scales expansion, we develop simple closed-form expressions for the net Lagrangian displacement of particles. By comparing the results from the separation of scales expansion at different orders in bandwidth, we study the effect of frequency dispersion on the local Lagrangian transport, which we show can be ignored for realistic sea states.

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