Experimental and numerical assessment of deterministic nonlinear ocean waves prediction algorithms using non-uniformly sampled wave gauges

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We assess the capability of fast wave models to deterministically predict nonlinear ocean surface waves from non-uniformly distributed data such as sampled from an optical ocean sensor. Linear and weakly nonlinear prediction algorithms are applied to long-crested irregular waves based on a set of laboratory experiments and corresponding numerical simulations. An array of wave gauges is used for data acquisition, representing the typical spatial sampling an optical sensor (e.g., LIDAR) would make at grazing incidence. Predictions of the weakly nonlinear Improved Choppy Wave Model are compared to those of the Linear Wave Theory with and without a nonlinear dispersion relationship correction. Wave models are first inverted based on gauge data which provides the initial model parameters, then propagated to issue a prediction. We find that the wave prediction accuracy converges with the amount of input data used in the inversion. When waves are propagated in the models, correctly modeling the nonlinear wave phase velocity provides the main improvement in accuracy, while including nonlinear wave shape effects only improves surface elevation representation in the spatio-temporal region where input data are acquired. Surface slope prediction accuracy, however, strongly depends on the appropriate nonlinear wave shape modeling.

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Ocean Engineering