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Random ocean swell-rays: a stochastic framework

Valentin Resseguier
Erwan Hascoët
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Originating from distant storms, swell systems radiate across all ocean basins (Snodgrass et al, 1966; Collard et al, 2009; Ardhuin et al, 2009). Far from their sources, emerging surface waves have low steepness characteristics, with very slow amplitude variations. Swell propagation then closely follows principles of geometrical optics, i.e. the eikonal approximation to the wave equation, with a constant wave period along geodesics, when following a wave packet at its group velocity. The phase averaged evolution of quasi-linear wave fields is then dominated by interactions with underlying current and/or topography changes (Phillips, 1977). Comparable to the propagation of light in a slowly varying medium, over many wavelengths, cumulative effects can lead to refraction, i.e. change of the direction of propagation of a given wave packet, so that it departs from its initial ray-propagation direction. This opens the possibility of using surface swell systems as probes to estimate turbulence along their propagating path.
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hal-03821873 , version 1 (25-10-2022)


  • HAL Id : hal-03821873 , version 1


Valentin Resseguier, Erwan Hascoët, Bertrand Chapron. Random ocean swell-rays: a stochastic framework. Bertrand Chapron; Anna Radomska; Dan Crisan; Darryl Holm; Étienne Mémin. Stochastic Transport in Upper Ocean Dynamics, Springer Nature, In press. ⟨hal-03821873⟩
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