Lars Skjelbreia, James Hendrickson


In dealing with problems connected with gravity waves, scientists and engineers frequently find it necessary to make lengthy theoretical calculations involving such wave characteristics as wave height, wave length, period, and water depth. Several approximate theoretical expressions have been derived relating the above parameters. Airy, for instance, contributed a very valuable and complete theory for waves traveling over a horizontal bottom in any depth of water. Due to the simplicity of the Airy theory, it is frequently used by engineers. This theory, however, was developed for waves of very small heights and is inaccurate for waves of finite height. Stokes presented a similar solution for waves of finite height by use of trigonometric series. Using five terms in the series, this solution will extend the range covered by the Airy theory to waves of greater steepness. No attempt has been made in this paper to specify the range where the theory is applicable. The coefficients in these series are very complicated and for a numerical problem, the calculations become very tedious. Because of this difficulty, this theory would be very little used by engineers unless the value of the coefficient is presented in tabular form. The purpose of this paper is to present the results of the fifth order theory and values of the various coefficients as a function of the parameter d/L.


gravity waves; Airy theory; d/L parameter; fifth order gravity theory

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