This past week at AIM Mark Ablowitz told me about an interesting article (with beautiful pictures) he wrote with Douglas Baldwin called “Nonlinear shallow ocean-wave silicon interactions on flat beaches.” The propagation of these waves may contribute to the growth of tsunami waves.
The article appears in the journal Physical Review E, (86), but it has also gained a lot of media attention and was written up as a synopsis on the American Physical Society (APS) web site. There are some nice videos that one can see from the link.
It was subsequently identified as a special focus article in Physics Today in the November issue. It also was featured by the American Meteorological Society Bulletin (January, 2013) and then in other science news: `OurAmazingPlanet’ New Scientist; NRC Handelsblad: the largest evening newspaper in Netherlands; NBC.com; National (U.S.A.) Tsunami Hazard Mitigation Program, and others.
As reported in the synopsis, “Previously, the assumption was that these interactions are rare. However, the authors have observed thousands of X and Y waves shortly before and after low tide at two flat beaches, where water depths were less than about 20 centimeters. The researchers showed that the shallow waves could be accurately described by a two-dimensional nonlinear wave equation.”