A self-sustained analytic theory of a wind-driven sea is presented. It is shown that the wave field can be separated into two ensembles: the Hasselmann sea that consists of long waves with frequency ω < ωH, ωH ~ 4 - 5ωp (ωp is the frequency of the spectral peak), and the Phillips sea with shorter waves. In the Hasselmann sea, which contains up to 95 % of wave energy, a resonant nonlinear interaction dominates over generation of wave energy by wind. White-cap dissipation in the Hasselmann sea in negligibly small. The resonant interaction forms a flux of energy into the Phillips sea, which plays a role of a universal sink of energy. This theory is supported by massive numerical experiments and explains the majority of pertinent experimental facts accumulated in physical oceanography.
- Kinetic (Hasselmann) equation
- Kolmogorov-Zakharov spectra
- self-similarity of wave spectra
- wave turbulence
- wind-wave forecasting