Numerical Simulation of Two-Phase Flow for Nearshore Hydrodynamics under Wave-Current Interactions

Surf and swash zone hydrodynamics are complex, being composed of a highly energetic water-air mixture under periodically unsteady motion. Wave-current interactions have a major effect on the results of hydrodynamic simulations, and consequently on predictions of mixing and sediment transport processes. An Euler-Euler air-water two-phase flow model was used to simulate hydrodynamic processes under waves and currents in the nearshore zone. The flow field was computed with the Reynolds-Averaged Navier-Stokes equations in conjunction with the Volume-Of-Fluid method and RNG turbulence closure scheme. Different flow fields were simulated and compared (wave, current, wave+current). The results indicated that the characteristics of oscillatory flow were affected by the combined current and wave motions, especially near the bed, which is important for sediment transport. This study demonstrates that currents modify the hydrodynamics of wave-driven motion in the surf and swash zones. The kinetic energy magnitude was much improved in the wave breaking process and the breaking point occurred further offshore than for purely wave-driven motion. The effects of currents on the flow field were found to be different depending on their magnitudes. Vertical variations of the velocity distribution (undertow), turbulence characteristics, void fractions, and non-hydrostatic pressure were used to assess the hydrodynamics of the nearshore zone and wave-breaking processes under different combinations of wave and current. These numerical studies simulate the different types of wave breaking and accompanying nearshore zone hydrodynamics that affect the physical processes in surf and swash zones.

Published in:
Journal of Coastal Research, SI64, 2, 1165-1169
Coastal Education and Research Foundation
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 Record created 2011-05-16, last modified 2018-03-17

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