1 December 2011
Tsunami asymptotics: For most of their propagation, tsunamis are linear dispersive waves whose speed is limited by the depth of the ocean and which can be regarded as diffraction-decorated caustics in spacetime. For constant depth, uniform asymptotics gives a very accurate compact description of the tsunami profile generated by an arbitrary initial disturbance. Variations in depth can focus tsunamis onto cusped caustics, and this 'singularity on a singularity' constitutes an unusual diffraction problem, whose solution indicates that focusing can amplify the tsunami energy by an order of magnitude.
- Industrial and Applied Mathematics Seminar