Simulating wave runup on an intermediate–reflective beach using a wave-resolving and a wave-averaged version of XBeach

Coastal Engineering
By: , and 



The prediction of wave runup, as well as its components, time-averaged setup and the time-varying swash, is a key element of coastal storm hazard assessments, as wave runup controls the transitions between morphodynamic response types such as dune erosion and overwash, and the potential for flooding by wave overtopping. While theoretically able to simulate the dominant low-frequency swash, previous studies using the infragravity-wave–resolving model XBeach (XBSB) have shown an underestimation of the observed swash variance and wave runup, which was in part related to the absence of incident-band swash motions in the model. Here, we use an incident-band wave-resolving, non-hydrostatic version of the XBeach model (XBNH) to simulate wave runup observed during the SandyDuck '97 experiment on an intermediate–reflective sandy beach. The results show that the XBNH model describes wave runup and the individual setup and swash components well. We subsequently examine differences in wave runup prediction between the XBSB and XBNH models and find that the XBNH model is a better predictor of wave runup than XBSB for this beach, which is due to better predictions of both the incident-band and infragravity-band swash. For a range of beach states from reflective to dissipative it is shown that incident-band swash is underestimated by XBSB relative to XBNH, in particular for reflective conditions. Infragravity-band swash is shown to be lower in XBSB than XBNH for most conditions, including dissipative conditions for which the mean difference is 16% of the deep water wave height. The difference in infragravity-band swash in XBNH relative to XBSB is shown to mainly be the result of processes occurring outside the swash zone, but approximately 15% of the difference is caused by explicitly resolving incident-band wave motions within the swash zone, such as swash-swash interactions, which inherently cannot be simulated by wave-averaged models.

    Publication type Article
    Publication Subtype Journal Article
    Title Simulating wave runup on an intermediate–reflective beach using a wave-resolving and a wave-averaged version of XBeach
    Series title Coastal Engineering
    DOI 10.1016/j.coastaleng.2020.103788
    Volume 167
    Year Published 2020
    Language English
    Publisher Elsevier
    Contributing office(s) St. Petersburg Coastal and Marine Science Center
    Description 103788, 13 p.
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