NON-UNIFORM ALONGSHORE CURRENTS

Michael R. Gourlay

Abstract


Alongshore gradients of breaker height have been shown to significantly influence the velocities and circulation patterns of nearshore current systems. Experimental data from an idealized laboratory experiment shows that the form of the nonuniform wave generated current system resulting from diffraction behind an offshore breakwater is essentially determined by the beach-breakwater geometry while its magnitude depends upon the wave height. Furthermore the current may produce significant increases in the magnitude of the wave set-up within the three dimensional system. For the case investigated, where the alongshore gradient of breaker height is comparatively large, the maximum mean alongshore current velocity is not greatly affected by bottom resistance and may be computed for plunging breakers from a relation of the following form.

Keywords


nearshore current; current; non-uniform current

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