Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Science in Ocean Engineering


Ocean Engineering

First Advisor

Annette Grilli


A Fully Non-Linear Boussinesq wave phase resolving model (FUNWAVE) (Shi et al., 2012) is used to model extreme storm events and assess their impact on the shoreline. In addition, we explore the potential benefit of deploying an artificial reef to mitigate the erosion on the shoreline. Individual waves are modeled in the time domain including all of the physical processes associated with their propagation: breaking, refraction, diffraction, reflection and non-linear effects. The study site modeled in these simulations is located in South Kingstown, Rhode Island, including the Green Hill Beach area along the coast. A sensitivity study on the FUNWAVE Courant–Friedrichs– Lewy (CFL) input parameter is completed and a value of 0.15 is determined to best generate the intended wave spectrum for our simulated cases. Results compare identical simulations run in FUNWAVE for cases with and without a submerged reef, deployed for coastal protection. This comparison shows that the implementation of a submerged reef along the coastline can significantly reduce both shoreward current velocities and wave energy. Resulting wave energy transmission coefficients moderately correlate with expected simplified solutions presented in Grilli et al. (1994) although the more realistic case evaluated in this study shows a greater reduction in wave energy across the reef. FUNWAVE’s sediment transport module has proven to be difficult to use and has produced unreliable results for this study. The difference in coastal energy and current processes due to individual wave interaction with the seabed demonstrates the importance of utilizing a phase resolving model such as FUNWAVE to most accurately predict these conditions.



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