Inertial Energy Dissipation in Shallow-Water Breaking Waves


We present direct numerical simulations of breaking solitary waves in shallow water to quantify the energy dissipation during the active breaking time. We find that this dissipation can be predicted by an inertial model based on Taylor's hypothesis as a function of the local wave height, depth and the beach slope. We obtain a relationship that gives the dissipation rate of a breaking wave on a shallow slope as a function of local breaking parameters. Next, we use empirical relations to relate the local wave parameters to the offshore conditions. This enables the energy dissipation to be predicted in terms of the initial conditions. We obtain good collapse of the numerical data with respect to the theoretical scaling.


Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering


This work was supported by the Princeton Environmental Institute at Princeton University and the Urban Grand Challenge programme, and the Cooperative Institute for Modeling the Earth System between NOAA and Princeton University.

Keywords and Phrases

Air/Sea Interactions; Shallow Water Flows; Wave Breaking

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

0022-1120; 1469-7645

Document Type

Article - Journal

Document Version


File Type





© 2020 The Authors, All rights reserved.

Publication Date

11 Mar 2020