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Publication 10-CNA-15

Asymptotic Linear Stability of Solitary Water Waves

Robert L. Pego
Department of Mathematical Sciences
and Center for Nonlinear Analysis
Carnegie Mellon University
Pittsburgh, PA 15213, USA

Shu-Ming Sun
Department of Mathematics
Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University
Blacksburg, VA 24061, USA


Abstract: We prove an asymptotic stability result for the water wave equations linearized around small solitary waves. The equations we consider govern irrotational flow of a fluid with constant density bounded below by a rigid horizontal bottom and above by a free surface under the influence of gravity neglecting surface tension. For sufficiently small amplitude waves, with waveform well-approximated by the well-known sech-squared shape of the KdV soliton, solutions of the linearized equations decay at an exponential rate in an energy norm with exponential weight translated with the wave profile. This holds for all solutions with no component in (i.e., symplectically orthogonal to) the two-dimensional neutral-mode space arising from infinitesimal translational and wave-speed variation of solitary waves. We also obtain spectral stability in an unweighted energy norm.

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