American Society of Civil Engineers

Vertical Structure of Horizontal Velocity in Regular Shoaling Waves

by Chandrasekher Narayanan, (Ph.D. Candidate, Coll. of Marine Studies, Univ. of Delaware, Newark, DE, 19716-3501) and John D. McCalpin, (Member of Technical Staff, Silicon Graphics Computer Systems, 2011 N. Shoreline Blvd., Mail Stop 580, Mountain View, CA, 94043)

Journal of Waterway, Port, Coastal and Ocean Engineering, Vol. 123, No. 3, May/June 1997, pp. 130-136, (doi:

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Document type: Journal Paper
Abstract: We investigate the parameterization of the vertical structure of horizontal velocity in a family of weakly nonlinear, weakly dispersive (Boussinesq) models developed by Nwogu. That model contains a free parameter that specifies the depth about which the assumed quadratic velocity profiles are expanded, with most standard formulations recovered by particular choices of this free parameter. Nwogu chose to optimize this model by selecting the parameter to best fit the linear dispersion relation. Here we test the model by applying it to the nonlinear case of shoaling of regular (cnoidal) waves. A new data set documenting the vertical dependence of horizontal velocity is presented and is used to evaluate the range of values of the free parameter for which the model gives good results. We show that the Boussinesq model optimized for the best linear dispersion relation also gives the best approximation to the local vertical structure in this strongly nonlinear case.

ASCE Subject Headings:
Boussinesq equations