Nonlinear wave dynamics in self-consistent water channels
We study long-wave dynamics in a self-consistent water channel of variable cross-section, taking into account the effects of weak nonlinearity and dispersion. The self-consistency of the water channel is considered within the linear shallow water theory, which implies that the channel depth and width are interrelated, so the wave propagates in such a channel without inner reflection from the bottom even if the water depth changes significantly. In the case of small-amplitude weakly dispersive waves, the reflection from the bottom is also small, which allows the use of a unidirectional approximation. A modified equation for Riemann waves is derived for the nondispersive case. The wave-breaking criterion (gradient catastrophe) for self-consistent channels is defined. If both weak nonlinearity and dispersion are accounted for, the variable-coefficient Korteweg–de Vries (KdV) equation for waves in self-consistent channels is derived. Note that this is the first time that a KdV equation has been derived for waves in strongly inhomogeneous media. Soliton transformation in a channel with an abrupt change in depth is also studied.