Brief communication: Modulation instability of internal waves in a smoothly stratified shallow fluid with a constant buoyancy frequency
Unexpectedly large displacements in the interior of the oceans are studied through the dynamics of packets of internal waves, where the evolution of these displacements is governed by the nonlinear Schrödinger equation. In cases with a constant buoyancy frequency, analytical treatment can be performed. While modulation instability in surface wave packets only arises for sufficiently deep water, “rogue” internal waves may occur in shallow water and intermediate depth regimes. A dependence on the stratification parameter and the choice of internal modes can be demonstrated explicitly. The spontaneous generation of rogue waves is tested here via numerical simulation.