Articles | Volume 25, issue 6
29 Jun 2007
 | 29 Jun 2007

A time-localized response of wave growth process under turbulent winds

Z. Ge and P. C. Liu

Abstract. Very short time series (with lengths of approximately 40 s or 5~7 wave periods) of wind velocity fluctuations and wave elevation were recorded simultaneously and investigated using the wavelet bispectral analysis. Rapid changes in the wave and wind spectra were detected, which were found to be intimately related to significant energy transfers through transient quadratic wind-wave and wave-wave interactions. A possible pattern of energy exchange between the wind and wave fields was further deduced. In particular, the generation and variation of the strong wave-induced perturbation velocity in the wind can be explained by the strengthening and diminishing of the associated quadratic interactions, which cannot be unveiled by linear theories. On small time scales, the wave-wave quadratic interactions were as active and effective in transferring energy as the wind-wave interactions. The results also showed that the wind turbulence was occasionally effective in transferring energy between the wind and the wave fields, so that the background turbulence in the wind cannot be completely neglected. Although these effects are all possibly significant over short times, the time-localized growth of the wave spectrum may not considerably affect the long-term process of wave development.