American Society of Civil Engineers

Undular Tidal Bores: Basic Theory and Free-Surface Characteristics

by Hubert Chanson, (Professor, School of Civil Engineering, The Univ. of Queensland, Brisbane, Queensland 4072, Australia. E-mail:

Journal of Hydraulic Engineering, Vol. 136, No. 11, November 2010, pp. 940-944, (doi:

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Document type: Technical Note
Abstract: The present study examines the free-surface properties of undular tidal bores observed for 1<F<1.5–1.8. The analysis is based on some new experimental results together with a reanalysis of both field and laboratory data. The free-surface profiles followed a pattern somehow similar to the sinusoidal and cnoidal wave shapes, although neither captures the fine details of the undulation profiles. The wave properties highlighted some maxima in amplitude and steepness for a Froude number of about 1.3–1.4 corresponding to the apparition of some wave breaking at the first wave crest.

ASCE Subject Headings:
Free surfaces
Wave crest
Tidal currents
Laboratory tests
Data analysis

Author Keywords:
Undular tidal bores
Free-surface undulations
Surface profile
Laboratory data
Field data