A Numerical and Theoretical Study of Certain Nonlinear Wave Phenomena

B. Fornberg, G. B. Whitham


An efficient numerical method is developed for solving nonlinear wave equations typified by the Korteweg-de Vries equation and its generalizations. The method uses a pseudospectral (Fourier transform) treatment of the space dependence together with a leap-frog scheme in time. It is combined with theoretical discussions in the study of a variety of problems including solitary wave interactions, wave breaking, the resolution of initial steps and wells, and the development of nonlinear wavetrain instabilities.

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