A fully non-linear model for three-dimensional overturning waves over an arbitrary bottom

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An accurate three-dimensional numerical model, applicable to strongly non-linear waves, is proposed. The model solves fully non-linear potential flow equations with a free surface using a higher-order three-dimensional boundary element method (BEM) and a mixed Eulerian-Lagrangian time updating, based on second-order explicit Taylor series expansions with adaptive time steps. The model is applicable to non-linear wave transformations from deep to shallow water over complex bottom topography up to overturning and breaking. Arbitrary waves can be generated in the model, and reflective or absorbing boundary conditions specified on lateral boundaries. In the BEM, boundary geometry and field variables are represented by 16-node cubic 'sliding' quadrilateral elements, providing local inter-element continuity of the first and second derivatives. Accurate and efficient numerical integrations are developed for these elements. Discretized boundary conditions at intersections (corner/edges) between the free surface or the bottom and lateral boundaries are well-posed in all cases of mixed boundary conditions. Higher-order tangential derivatives, required for the time updating, are calculated in a local curvilinear co-ordinate system, using 25-node 'sliding' fourth-order quadrilateral elements. Very high accuracy is achieved in the model for mass and energy conservation. No smoothing of the solution is required, but regridding to a higher resolution can be specified at any time over selected areas of the free surface. Applications are presented for the propagation of numerically exact solitary waves. Model properties of accuracy and convergence with a refined spatio-temporal discretization are assessed by propagating such a wave over constant depth. The shoaling of solitary waves up to overturning is then calculated over a 1:15 plane slope, and results show good agreement with a two-dimensional solution proposed earlier. Finally, three-dimensional overturning waves are generated over a 1:15 sloping bottom having a ridge in the middle, thus focusing wave energy. The node regridding method is used to refine the discretization around the overturning wave. Convergence of the solution with grid size is also verified for this case. Copyright © 2001 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

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International Journal for Numerical Methods in Fluids