Celerity and amplification of supercritical surface waves

Pierre Y. Julien, Noah Friesen, Jennifer G. Duan, Richard Eykholt

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Scopus citations


The amplification of supercritical waves in steep channels is examined analytically using a one-dimensional dynamic solution of the Saint-Venant equations. Existing methods were modified to describe the amplification of surface waves over a normalized channel length rather than over a single wavelength. The results are strikingly different, and a generalized graph shows that short waves amplify the most over a fixed channel length. The maximum amplification parameter over a normalized channel length is 0.53 when F=3.44. Applications to the flood drainage channel F1 in Las Vegas indicate that the amplitude of waves shorter than 100 m would increase by 65% over a channel length of 543 m. These theoretical results await field verification. Supercritical waves could be dampened by increasing channel roughness to reduce the Froude number below 1.5.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)656-661
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Hydraulic Engineering
Issue number9
StatePublished - Aug 13 2010


  • Supercritical flow
  • Surface waves
  • Wave propagation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Civil and Structural Engineering
  • Water Science and Technology
  • Mechanical Engineering


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