Coronavirus Information for the UC San Diego Community

Our leaders are working closely with federal and state officials to ensure your ongoing safety at the university. Stay up to date with the latest developments. Learn more.

Current generation by deep-water breaking waves

TitleCurrent generation by deep-water breaking waves
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2016
AuthorsPizzo N.E, Deike L., Melville W.K
JournalJournal of Fluid Mechanics
Date Published2016/09
Type of ArticleArticle
ISBN Number0022-1120
Accession NumberWOS:000382894700012
Keywordsadaptive solver; air/sea interactions; breakers; driven; energy-dissipation; entrainment; evolution; numerical simulations; oceanic boundary-layer; statistics; turbulence; wave breaking; waves/free-surface flows

We examine the partitioning of the energy transferred to the water column by deep-water wave breaking; in this case between the turbulent and mean flow. It is found that more than 95 % of the energy lost by the wave field is dissipated in the first four wave periods after the breaking event. The remaining energy is in the coherent vortex generated by breaking. A scaling argument shows that the ratio between the energy in this breaking generated mean current and the total energy lost from the wave field to the water column due to breaking scales as (hk)(1/2), where hk is the local slope at breaking. This model is examined using direct numerical simulations of breaking waves solving the full two-phase air-water Navier-Stokes equations, as well as the limited available laboratory data, and good agreement is found for strong breaking waves.

Short TitleJ. Fluid Mech.
Student Publication: