Modeling of freak wave generation in a 3D-NWT

Document Type

Conference Proceeding

Date of Original Version



We study wave energy focusing, as a possible mechanism for freak wave formation, in a three-dimensional (3D) Numerical Wave Tank (NWT) solving fully nonlinear potential flow equations. The NWT combines a higher-order 3D-BEM and a Mixed-Eulerian-Lagrangian time updating of the free surface, based on explicit second-order Taylor series expansions. Self-focusing of wave energy is achieved through modulating a periodic wave train in two orthogonal directions. This process is first carried out using a Higher Order Spectral method whose solution is then introduced in the NWT, in which we specify space periodicity conditions on lateral boundaries. Directional and frequency focusing of wave energy are achieved through using a snake wavemaker to generate curved wave fronts, at one extremity of the NWT, and specifying an actively absorbing open boundary condition at the other extremity of the NWT. Both breaking and nonbreaking freak waves are generated in the NWT and their shape and kinematics are studied.

Publication Title

Proceedings of the International Offshore and Polar Engineering Conference