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Accuracy of solitary wave generation by a piston wave maker

Abstract : A new experimental procedure to generate solitary waves in a flume using a piston type wave maker is derived from Rayleigh's (1876, [18]) solitary wave solution. Resulting solitary waves fordimensionless amplitudes £ ranging from 0.05 to 0.5 are as pure as the ones generated using Goring's (1978, [7]) procedure which is based on Boussinesq (1871a, [1]) solitary wave, with trailing waves of amplitude lower than 3 % of the main pulse amplitude. In contrast with Goring's procedure, the new procedure results in very little loss of amplitude in the initial stage of the propagation of the solitary waves. We show that solitary waves generated using this new procedure are more rapidly established. This is attributed to the better description of the outskirts decay coefficient in a solitary wave given by Rayleigh's solution rather than by a Boussinesq expression. Two other generation procedures based on first-order (KdV) and second order shallow water theories are also tested. Solitary waves generated by the latter are of much lower quality than those generated with Rayleigh or Boussinesq-based procedures.
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Katell Guizien, Eric Barthélemy. Accuracy of solitary wave generation by a piston wave maker. Journal of Hydraulic Research, Taylor & Francis, 2002, 40 (3), pp.321-331. ⟨10.1080/00221680209499946⟩. ⟨hal-00182837⟩

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