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Turbulence Modeling and Wave-Current Interactions

Authors: A.-C. Bennis, F. Dumas, F. Ardhuin, B. Blanke


The mechanics of rip currents are complex, involving interactions between waves, currents, water levels and the bathymetry, that present particular challenges for numerical models. Here, the effects of a grid-spacing dependent horizontal mixing on the wave-current interactions are studied. Near the shore, wave rays diverge from channels towards bar crests because of refraction by topography and currents, in a way that depends on the rip current intensity which is itself modulated by the horizontal mixing. At low resolution with the grid-spacing dependent horizontal mixing, the wave motion is the same for both coupling modes because the wave deviation by the currents is weak. In high resolution case, however, classical results are found with the stabilizing effect of the flow by feedback of waves on currents. Lastly, wave-current interactions and the horizontal mixing strongly affect the intensity of the three-dimensional rip velocity.

Keywords: numerical modeling, wave-current interactions, rip currents, Turbulence modeling

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