Nonlinear dynamics of wind waves: multifractal phase/time effects
Abstract. In addition to the bispectral coherence method, phase/time analysis of analytic signals is another promising avenue for the investigation of phase effects in wind waves. Frequency spectra of phase fluctuations obtained from both sea and laboratory experiments follow an F-β power law over several decades, suggesting that a fractal description is appropriate. However, many similar natural phenomena have been shown to be multifractal. Universal multifractals are quantified by two additional parameters: the Lévy index 0 < α < 2 for the type of multifractal and the co-dimension 0 < C1 < 1 for intermittence. The three parameters are a full statistical measure the nonlinear dynamics. Analysis of laboratory flume data is reported here and the results indicate that the phase fluctuations are 'hard multifractal' (α > 1). The actual estimate is close to the limiting value α = 2, which is consistent with Kolmogorov's lognormal model for turbulent fluctuations. Implications for radar and sonar backscattering from the sea surface are briefly considered.