Matthieu Andreas de Schipper, Ad Reniers, Jamie MacMahan, Roshanka Ranasinghe


Field observations and numerical model simulations are examined to investigate the magnitude of vortical very low frequency (VLF) velocity fluctuations (i.e. large scale surfzone eddies) under different offshore wave forcing. Observations of vortical VLF motions under shore -normal wave incidence at Duck, NC, USA are re-analyzed and compared with the characteristics of the incident wave spectrum. Long wave periods and narrow frequency spread incident waves were found to coincide with stronger vortical VLF motions. Numerical model simulations investigating the effect of the incident wave parameters in a more isolated way confirm the observed effect of frequency spread and wave period on the magnitude of VLF motions. Variations in incident wave spectrum resulted in changes in the vortical VLF magnitude of the same order as the magnitude of the vortical VLF velocity fluctuations themselves. These results imply that under shore-normal incident waves strong vortical VLF velocity fluctuations in the surfzone are more likely under swell conditions and at swell dominated coasts.


Surfzone hydrodynamics; low frequency motions; transient rip currents; surfzone eddies

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DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.9753/icce.v33.waves.58