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  1. Abstract The interaction of an oblique line soliton with a one-dimensional dynamic mean flow is analyzed using the Kadomtsev–Petviashvili II (KPII) equation. Building upon previous studies that examined the transmission or trapping of a soliton by a slowly varying rarefaction or oscillatory dispersive shock wave (DSW) in one space and one time dimension, this paper allows for the incident soliton to approach the changing mean flow at a nonzero oblique angle. By deriving invariant quantities of the soliton–mean flow modulation equations—a system of three (1 + 1)-dimensional quasilinear, hyperbolic equations for the soliton and mean flow parameters—and positing the initial configuration as a Riemann problem in the modulation variables, it is possible to derive quantitative predictions regarding the evolution of the line soliton within the mean flow. It is found that the interaction between an oblique soliton and a changing mean flow leads to several novel features not observed in the (1 + 1)-dimensional reduced problem. Many of these interesting dynamics arise from the unique structure of the modulation equations that are nonstrictly hyperbolic, including a well-defined multivalued solution interpreted as a solution of the (2 + 1)-dimensional soliton–mean modulation equations, in which the soliton interacts with the mean flowmore »and then wraps around to interact with it again. Finally, it is shown that the oblique interactions between solitons and DSW solutions for the mean flow give rise to all three possible types of two-soliton solutions of the KPII equation. The analytical findings are quantitatively supported by direct numerical simulations.« less
  2. A new type of wave–mean flow interaction is identified and studied in which a small-amplitude, linear, dispersive modulated wave propagates through an evolving, nonlinear, large-scale fluid state such as an expansion (rarefaction) wave or a dispersive shock wave (undular bore). The Korteweg–de Vries (KdV) equation is considered as a prototypical example of dynamic wavepacket–mean flow interaction. Modulation equations are derived for the coupling between linear wave modulations and a nonlinear mean flow. These equations admit a particular class of solutions that describe the transmission or trapping of a linear wavepacket by an unsteady hydrodynamic state. Two adiabatic invariants of motion are identified that determine the transmission, trapping conditions and show that wavepackets incident upon smooth expansion waves or compressive, rapidly oscillating dispersive shock waves exhibit so-called hydrodynamic reciprocity recently described in Maiden et al.  ( Phys. Rev. Lett. , vol. 120, 2018, 144101) in the context of hydrodynamic soliton tunnelling. The modulation theory results are in excellent agreement with direct numerical simulations of full KdV dynamics. The integrability of the KdV equation is not invoked so these results can be extended to other nonlinear dispersive fluid mechanic models.
  3. This paper presents a theoretical and experimental study of the long-standing fluid mechanics problem involving the temporal resolution of a large localised initial disturbance into a sequence of solitary waves. This problem is of fundamental importance in a range of applications, including tsunami and internal ocean wave modelling. This study is performed in the context of the viscous fluid conduit system – the driven, cylindrical, free interface between two miscible Stokes fluids with high viscosity contrast. Owing to buoyancy-induced nonlinear self-steepening balanced by stress-induced interfacial dispersion, the disturbance evolves into a slowly modulated wavetrain and further into a sequence of solitary waves. An extension of Whitham modulation theory, termed the solitary wave resolution method, is used to resolve the fission of an initial disturbance into solitary waves. The developed theory predicts the relationship between the initial disturbance’s profile, the number of emergent solitary waves and their amplitude distribution, quantifying an extension of the well-known soliton resolution conjecture from integrable systems to non-integrable systems that often provide a more accurate modelling of physical systems. The theoretical predictions for the fluid conduit system are confirmed both numerically and experimentally. The number of observed solitary waves is consistently within one to two wavesmore »of the prediction, and the amplitude distribution shows remarkable agreement. Universal properties of solitary wave fission in other fluid dynamics problems are identified.« less