A nonlinear diffraction theory for interaction of waves with a vertical cylinder of large diameter is presented. The nonlinear second-order solution is examined in comparison with a linear solution and other existing second-order solutions. The computed nonlinear wave forces are found to compare very well with the experimental results. The effect of nonlinearity on the crest height distribution around the cylinder is also studied. It is found that as the ratio of wave height to water depth decreases the nonlinear solution approaches the linear solution.

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