Pathologies in the Asymptotics of low-Froude Free-surface Waves Over Smooth Bodies

Yyanis Johnson-Llambias, Philippe Trinh

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


In the study of low-speed or low-Froude flows of a potential gravity-driven fluid past a wave-generating object, the traditional asymptotic expansion in powers of the Froude number predicts a waveless free-surface at every order. This is due to the fact that the waves are, in fact, exponentially small and beyond-all-orders of the naive expansion. The theory of exponential asymptotics indicates that such exponentially-small water waves are switched-on across so-called Stokes lines—these curves partition the fluid-domain into wave-free regions and regions with waves. In prior studies, Stokes lines are associated with singularities in the flow field, such as stagnation points, or corners of submerged objects or rough beds. In this work, we present a smoothed geometry that was recently highlighted by Pethiyagoda et al. [Int. J. Numer. Meth. Fluids. 2018; 86:607–624] as capable of producing waves, yet paradoxically exhibiting no obvious Stokes line according to conventional exponential asymptotics theory. In this work, we demonstrate that the Stokes line for this smooth geometry originates from an essential singularity at infinity in the analytic continuation of free-surface quantities. We discuss some of the difficulties in extending the typical methodology of exponential asymptotics to general wave-structure interaction problems with smooth geometries.

Original languageEnglish
JournalWater Waves
Early online date18 Mar 2024
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 18 Mar 2024

Data Availability Statement

Not applicable.


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