Analytic theory of a wind-driven sea

Vladimir Zakharov

Research output: Contribution to journalConference articlepeer-review

14 Scopus citations


A self-sustained analytic theory of a wind-driven sea is presented. It is shown that the wave field can be separated into two ensembles: the Hasselmann sea that consists of long waves with frequency ω < ωH, ωH ~ 4 - 5ωpp is the frequency of the spectral peak), and the Phillips sea with shorter waves. In the Hasselmann sea, which contains up to 95 % of wave energy, a resonant nonlinear interaction dominates over generation of wave energy by wind. White-cap dissipation in the Hasselmann sea in negligibly small. The resonant interaction forms a flux of energy into the Phillips sea, which plays a role of a universal sink of energy. This theory is supported by massive numerical experiments and explains the majority of pertinent experimental facts accumulated in physical oceanography.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)43-58
Number of pages16
JournalProcedia IUTAM
StatePublished - 2018
Event2017 IUTAM Symposium Wind Waves - London, United Kingdom
Duration: Sep 4 2017Sep 8 2017


  • Kinetic (Hasselmann) equation
  • Kolmogorov-Zakharov spectra
  • self-similarity of wave spectra
  • wave turbulence
  • wind-wave forecasting

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Mechanical Engineering


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