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  • Journal of Fluid Mechanics, Volume 582
  • July 2007, pp. 463-472

Influence of crest and group length on the occurrence of freak waves

  • DOI:
  • Published online: 10 July 2007

A large number of simulations have been performed to reveal how the occurrence of freak waves on deep water depends on the group and crest lengths for fixed steepness. It is found that there is a sharp qualitative transition between short- and long-crested sea, for a crest length of approximately ten wavelengths. For short crest lengths the statistics of freak waves deviates little from Gaussian and their occurrence is independent of group length (or Benjamin–Feir index, BFI). For long crest lengths the statistics of freak waves is strongly non-Gaussian and the group length (or BFI) is a good indicator of increased freak wave activity.

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