Implementation and modification of a three-dimensional radiation stress formulation for surf zone and rip-current applications

Coastal Engineering
By: , and 



Regional Ocean Modeling System (ROMS v 3.0), a three-dimensional numerical ocean model, was previously enhanced for shallow water applications by including wave-induced radiation stress forcing provided through coupling to wave propagation models (SWAN, REF/DIF). This enhancement made it suitable for surf zone applications as demonstrated using examples of obliquely incident waves on a planar beach and rip current formation in longshore bar trough morphology (Haas and Warner, 2009). In this contribution, we present an update to the coupled model which implements a wave roller model and also a modified method of the radiation stress term based on Mellor (2008, 2011a,b,in press) that includes a vertical distribution which better simulates non-conservative (i.e., wave breaking) processes and appears to be more appropriate for sigma coordinates in very shallow waters where wave breaking conditions dominate. The improvements of the modified model are shown through simulations of several cases that include: (a) obliquely incident spectral waves on a planar beach; (b) obliquely incident spectral waves on a natural barred beach (DUCK'94 experiment); (c) alongshore variable offshore wave forcing on a planar beach; (d) alongshore varying bathymetry with constant offshore wave forcing; and (e) nearshore barred morphology with rip-channels. Quantitative and qualitative comparisons to previous analytical, numerical, laboratory studies and field measurements show that the modified model replicates surf zone recirculation patterns (onshore drift at the surface and undertow at the bottom) more accurately than previous formulations based on radiation stress (Haas and Warner, 2009). The results of the model and test cases are further explored for identifying the forces operating in rip current development and the potential implication for sediment transport and rip channel development. Also, model analysis showed that rip current strength is higher when waves approach at angles of 5° to 10° in comparison to normally incident waves.

Publication type Article
Publication Subtype Journal Article
Title Implementation and modification of a three-dimensional radiation stress formulation for surf zone and rip-current applications
Series title Coastal Engineering
DOI 10.1016/j.coastaleng.2011.06.009
Volume 58
Issue 12
Year Published 2011
Language English
Publisher Elsevier
Contributing office(s) Woods Hole Coastal and Marine Science Center
Description 21 p.
First page 1097
Last page 1117
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