Existence, Nonexistence, and Asymptotics of Deep Water Solitary Waves with Localized Vorticity

Robin Ming Chen, Samuel Walsh, Miles H. Wheeler

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Citations (SciVal)


In this paper, we study solitary waves propagating along the surface of an infinitely deep body of water in two or three dimensions. The waves are acted upon by gravity and capillary effects are allowed—but not required—on the interface. We assume that the vorticity is localized in the sense that it satisfies certain moment conditions, and we permit there to be finitely many point vortices in the bulk of the fluid in two dimensions. We also consider a two-fluid model with a vortex sheet. Under mild decay assumptions, we obtain precise asymptotics for the velocity field and free surface, and relate this to global properties of the wave. For instance, we rule out the existence of waves whose free surface elevations have a single sign and of vortex sheets with finite angular momentum. Building on the work of Shatah et al. (Nonlinearity 26:1529–1564, 2013), we also prove the existence of families of two-dimensional capillary-gravity waves with compactly supported vorticity satisfying the above assumptions. For these waves, we further show that the free surface is positive in a neighborhood of infinity, and that the asymptotics at infinity are linked to the net vorticity.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)595-633
Number of pages39
JournalArchive for Rational Mechanics and Analysis
Issue number2
Early online date15 May 2019
Publication statusPublished - 1 Nov 2019

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Analysis
  • Mathematics (miscellaneous)
  • Mechanical Engineering


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