Whitham shocks and resonant dispersive shock waves governed by the higher order Korteweg-de Vries equation

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Proceedings of the Royal Society A: Mathematical, Physical and Engineering Sciences


The addition of higher order asymptotic corrections to the Korteweg-de Vries equation results in the extended Korteweg-de Vries (eKdV) equation. These higher order terms destabilize the dispersive shock wave solution, also termed an undular bore in fluid dynamics, and result in the emission of resonant radiation. In broad terms, there are three possible dispersive shock wave regimes: radiating dispersive shock wave (RDSW), cross-over dispersive shock wave (CDSW) and travelling dispersive shock wave (TDSW). While there are existing solutions for the RDSW and TDSW regimes obtained using modulation theory, there is no existing solution for the CDSW regime. Modulation theory and the associated concept of a Whitham shock are used to obtain this CDSW solution. In addition, it is found that the resonant wavetrain emitted by the eKdV equation with water wave coefficients has a minimal amplitude. This minimal amplitude is explained based on the developed Whitham modulation theory.

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