Modeling and Simulation Group Meeting Old

The Universal Route to Rogue Waves via Instanton Theory

Speaker: Tobias Grafke (Warwick)

Location: Warren Weaver Hall remote; zoom link sent via email

Date: Thursday, April 9, 2020, 1 p.m.


In stochastic systems, extreme events are known to be described by "instantons", saddle point configurations of the action of the associated stochastic field theory. In this talk, I will present experimental evidence of a hydrodynamic instanton in a real world fluid system: A 270m wave channel experiment in Norway. The experiment attempts to model conditions on the ocean in order to observe so-called rogue waves, realisations of extreme ocean surface elevation out of relatively calm surroundings. These rogue waves are also observed in the ocean, where they are rare and hard to predict but pose significant danger to naval vessels. We show that the instanton approach, which is rigorously grounded in large deviation theory, offers a unified description of rogue waves in the water tank, covering the entire range of parameters for deep water waves in the ocean. In particular, this approach allows for a unified description of both the predominantly linear and the highly nonlinear regimes, and is able to predict the experimental data in the tank regardless of the strength of the nonlinearity.