Numerical modeling and experiments for solitary wave shoaling and breaking over a sloping beach

Document Type

Conference Proceeding

Date of Original Version



This research deals with the validation of fluid dynamic models, used for simulating shoaling and breaking solitary waves on slopes, based on experiments performed at the Ecole Supérieure d'Ingénieurs de Marseille's (ESIM) laboratory. A separate paper, also presented at this conference, reports on experiments. In a first part of this work, a fully nonlinear potential flow model based on a Boundary Element Method (BEM) developed at the University of Rhode Island (URI), is used to generate and propagate solitary waves over a slope, up to overturning, in a set-up closely reproducing the laboratory tank geometry and wavemaker system. The BEM model uses a boundary integral equation method for the solution of governing potential flow equations and an explicit Lagrangian time stepping for time integration. In a second part, several Navier-Stokes (NS) models, developed respectively at TREFLE-ENSCPB, IMFT, IRPHE and LSEET are initialized based on the BEM solution and used for modeling breaking solitary waves in a finely discretized region encompassing the top of the slope and the surfzone. The NS models are based on the Volume of Fluid Method (VOF). This paper mostly deals with the first part, which includes calibration and comparison of BEM results with experiments, for the generation of solitary waves in the physical wave tank. Thus, parameters of the physical wave tank were numerically matched, including tank geometry and motion of the wavemaker paddle corresponding to the generation of solitary waves. Use and coupling of the BEM and VOF models for the simulation of solitary wave breaking is discussed in the 306 paper. Copyright © 2004 by The International Society of Offshore and Polar Engineers.

Publication Title

Proceedings of the International Offshore and Polar Engineering Conference