Journal of Fluid Mechanics

Non-breaking and breaking solitary wave run-up

a1 Oracle Corporation, Redwood Shores, CA 94065, USA
a2 California Institute of Technology, Pasadena, CA 91125, USA


The run-up of non-breaking and breaking solitary waves on a uniform plane beach connected to a constant-depth wave tank was investigated experimentally and numerically. If only the general characteristics of the run-up process and the maximum run-up are of interest, for the case of a breaking wave the post-breaking condition can be simplified and represented as a propagating bore. A numerical model using this bore structure to treat the process of wave breaking and subsequent shoreward propagation was developed. The nonlinear shallow water equations (NLSW) were solved using the weighted essentially non-oscillatory (WENO) shock capturing scheme employed in gas dynamics. Wave breaking and post-breaking propagation are handled automatically by this scheme and ad hoc terms are not required. A computational domain mapping technique was used to model the shoreline movement. This numerical scheme was found to provide a relatively simple and reasonably good prediction of various aspects of the run-up process. The energy dissipation associated with wave breaking of solitary wave run-up (excluding the effects of bottom friction) was also estimated using the results from the numerical model.

(Received December 5 2000)
(Revised October 12 2001)