Master of Science in Civil Engineering (MSCE)


Civil and Environmental Engineering

Document Type



In this thesis, free-surface water waves are experimentally investigated with a focus on sloshing in tanks. The sloshing problem is selected for its relatively simple geometry, yet it captures the features of nonlinearities including wave breaking. Free-surface motions are monitored in a square tank with base dimensions of 1 x 1 m2. Sloshing motions have been studied both off- and at resonance in shallow to deep water to investigate nonlinear free surface effects. The tank has been prescribed to move in sway and / or heave excitation. Interesting hysteresis behavior at the surface is captured at and near resonance. Faraday peaks also exhibit hysteresis behaviors. In the sway test series, linear resonances are observed. In the heave test series, exponentially growing resonances exist with evidence of mode interactions and detuning effects in the time evolutions. The key contribution to current literature is found when the tank is prescribed to move in sway and heave simultaneously. The effects of vertical excitation on the pure horizontal excitation show complicated wave forms with random mode interaction, detuning effects and wave breaking typically present. A special case study in shallow water depth (h0/b<0.05) is carried out in which traveling waves and bores are analyzed with Froude numbers Fr(h1) = [1.1, 1.7]. Although this thesis has a focus on the understanding of free-surface water waves in tanks, the impact of the study affects broad areas. Accurate nonlinear wave investigations can benefit other communities in condensed matter physics, naval architecture, oceanography, seismology and ocean / coastal / earthquake engineering.



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Committee Chair

Jannette Frandsen