AIRY WAVE THEORY AND BREAKER HEIGHT PREDICTION

Paul D. Komar, Michael K. Gaughan

Abstract


Using a critical value for Yt> = H./ h. as a wave breaking criterion, where Hb and hb are respectively the wave breaker height and depth, applying Airy wave theory, and assuming conservation of the wave energy flux, one obtains 1/5 2 2/5 Hb = k g (TH. ) relating Hb to the wave period T and to the deep-water wave height H^ . Three sets of laboratory data and one set of field data yield k = 0.39 for the dimensionless coefficient. The relationship, based on Airy wave theory and empirically fitted to the data, is much more successful in predicting wave breaker heights than is the commonly used equation of Munk, based on solitary wave theory. In addition, the relationship is applicable over the entire practical range of wave steepness values.

Keywords


airy theory; breaker height; breaking waves; wave prediction

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