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Implementation and Evaluation of Alternative Wave Breaking Formulas in a Coastal Spectral Wave Model

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Journal article

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This paper describes methods and results of research for incorporating four different parameterized wave breaking and dissipation formulas in a coastal wave prediction model. Two formulations assume the breaking energy dissipation to be limited by the Rayleigh distribution, whereas the other two represent the breaking wave energy by a bore model. These four formulations have been implemented in WABED, a directional spectral wave model based on the wave action balance equation with diffraction, reflection, and wave-current interaction capabilities. Four parameterized wave breaking formulations are evaluated in the present study using two high-quality laboratory data sets. The first data set is from a wave transformation experiment at an idealized inlet entrance, representing four incident irregular waves in a slack tide and two steady-state ebb current conditions. The second data set is from a laboratory study of wave propagation over a complex bathymetry with strong wave-induced currents. Numerical simulation results show that with a proper breaking formulation the wave model can reproduce laboratory data for waves propagating over idealized or complicated bathymetries with ambient currents. The extended Goda wave breaking formulation with a truncated Rayleigh distribution, and the Battjes and Janssen formulation with a bore model produced the best agreement between model and data.

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  • Physical and Dynamic Oceanography

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