Evaluation of Depth-Limited Wave Breaking Criteria

by George M. Kaminsky, Washington Dep of Ecology, Olympia, United States,
Nicholas C. Kraus, Washington Dep of Ecology, Olympia, United States,

Document Type: Proceeding Paper

Part of: Ocean Wave Measurement and Analysis


Numerous criteria exists for predicting incipient wave breaking. These criteria were verified with a limited number of data sets or under limited number of data sets or under limited beach and wave conditions, and confusion exists as to which of the many criteria to use. In the present study, a large database of wave breaking parameters from 17 laboratory experiments with plane slopes was complied to yield 416 data points, of which 409 were used in empirical correlations to develop predective breaking criteria covering the widest possible range available of beach and wave conditions. Selected criteria were evaluated and empirical coefficients adjusted by iterative best-fit procedures involving bin averaging of widely scattered parameter values to reveal functional dependencies. High-predictive capability was obtained using simple criteria expressed in terms of beach slope and wave steepness, and new criteria were developed for three breaking wave ratios or breaker indices: wave height to water depth at incipient breaking; incipient breaking wave height to deep-water wave height; and water depth at incipient breaking to deep-water wave height.

Subject Headings: Breaking waves | Water waves | Wave height | Beaches | Slopes | Laboratory tests | Parameters (statistics)

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