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It is known that perfectly trapped surface waves exist at certain eigen frequencies near a vertical cylinder in a long channel, or an infinite and periodic array of vertical cylinders, and excitation by incident waves of the same frequency is not possible according to the linear theory. We present a nonlinear theory whereby a trapped wave near a cylinder in a channel is excited subharmonically by an incident wave of twice the eigen frequency. The linearized theory of water-wave trapping eitherdoi:10.1017/s0022112006000760 fatcat:iwnumqajljdl3fdkih5lklmf3y