William R. Dally, Robert G. Dean, Robert A. Dalrymple


Based on the observation that a shallow water breaking wave propagating over a region of uniform depth will reform and stabilize after some distance, an intuitive expression for the rate of energy dissipation is developed. Using linear wave theory and the energy balance equation, analytical solutions for monochromatic waves breaking on a flat shelf, plane slope, and "equilibrium" beach profile are presented and compared to laboratory data from Horikawa and Kuo (1966) with favorable results. Set-down/up in the mean water level, bottom friction losses, and bottom profiles of arbitrary shape are then introduced and the equations solved numerically. The model is calibrated and verified to laboratory data with very good results for wave decay for a wide range of beach slopes and incident conditions, but not so favorable for set-up. A test run on a prototype scale profile containing two bar and trough systems demonstrates the model's ability to describe the shoaling, breaking, and wave reformation process commonly observed in nature. Bottom friction is found to play a negligible role in wave decay in the surf zone when compared to shoaling and breaking.


wave model; breaking waves; breaker decay

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DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.9753/icce.v19.%25p