Non-canonical Hamiltonian structure and Poisson bracket for two-dimensional hydrodynamics with free surface

A. I. Dyachenko, P. M. Lushnikov, V. E. Zakharov

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11 Scopus citations


We consider the Euler equations for the potential flow of an ideal incompressible fluid of infinite depth with a free surface in two-dimensional geometry. Both gravity and surface tension forces are taken into account. A time-dependent conformal mapping is used which maps the lower complex half-plane of the auxiliary complex variable into the fluid's area, with the real line of mapped into the free fluid's surface. We reformulate the exact Eulerian dynamics through a non-canonical non-local Hamiltonian structure for a pair of the Hamiltonian variables. These two variables are the imaginary part of the conformal map and the fluid's velocity potential, both evaluated at the fluid's free surface. The corresponding Poisson bracket is non-degenerate, i.e. it does not have any Casimir invariant. Any two functionals of the conformal mapping commute with respect to the Poisson bracket. The new Hamiltonian structure is a generalization of the canonical Hamiltonian structure of Zakharov (J. Appl. Mech. Tech. Phys., vol. 9(2), 1968, pp. 190-194) which is valid only for solutions for which the natural surface parametrization is single-valued, i.e. each value of the horizontal coordinate corresponds only to a single point on the free surface. In contrast, the new non-canonical Hamiltonian equations are valid for arbitrary nonlinear solutions (including multiple-valued natural surface parametrization) and are equivalent to the Euler equations. We also consider a generalized hydrodynamics with the additional physical terms in the Hamiltonian beyond the Euler equations. In that case we identify powerful reductions that allow one to find general classes of particular solutions.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)526-552
Number of pages27
JournalJournal of Fluid Mechanics
StatePublished - Jun 25 2019


  • Hamiltonian theory
  • general fluid mechanics

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Mechanics of Materials
  • Mechanical Engineering


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