Computations of Three-Dimensional Overturning Waves in Shallow Water: Dynamics and Kinematics

Document Type

Conference Proceeding

Date of Original Version



Simulations in a three-dimensional numerical wave tank are performed to investigate the shoaling and breaking of a solitary wave over a sloping ridge with a lateral modulation. The model is based on a high-order boundary element method combined with a mixed Eulerian-Lagrangian formulation. Our study is focused on the case of a plunging breaker and is aimed at describing the phenomenon of wave overturning in shallow water. A local regridding technique is developed to allow computations to be run until an advanced stage of wave overturning. A detailed analysis of wave profiles and wave kinematics (both on the free surface and within the flow) is carried out. As expected, the bottom topography is found to be an important factor controlling wave transformations and inducing three-dimensional effects on the flow. Nevertheless, comparisons of two-and three-dimensional results in the middle cross-section of the tank show remarkable similarities in jet shape and dynamics. This supports the general viewpoint that the evolution of an overturning wave becomes somewhat independent of the interior dynamics and boundary conditions.

Publication Title

Proceedings of the International Offshore and Polar Engineering Conference