Wave Research Lab


In light of the recent catastrophe around the Indian Ocean, it may be beneficial to address computative methods of simulating complex phenomena such as waves in a body of water. More specifically, the WRL will focus on examining the effect of interfering objects on the dynamics of the wave.

In the following example, a set of static objects (islands) is placed into a body which otherwise simulates the dynamics of a body of fluid. The edges of the body have the effect that edges (coastal lines) normally would - they are also static.

A disturbance in the top-left corner of the field initiates the wave.

10 steps

70 steps

140 steps

250 steps

350 steps

500 steps

The interference caused by the static objects corrupts the wave's uniform front and dampens its magnitude (the reds and the blues beyond the "islands" are not as intense as elsewhere along the wavefront). A detail from step 350 illustrates this effect:

Detail from step 350

By altering the size, shape and placement of the static objects, we should be able to discover configurations which maximize wave dampening and dissipation. Such structures, if built on a large scale, may be a viable form of defense against wave damage. Furthermore, they would require no energy or other resources beyond their construction, and should have no negative environmental impact.

Download a wave simulation movie here.