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Statistics of Extreme Waves in Coastal Waters: Large Scale Experiments and Advanced Numerical Simulations

1
École Centrale Marseille, 13013 Marseille, France
2
Aix Marseille Univ, CNRS, Centrale Marseille, IRPHE UMR 7342, 13013 Marseille, France
3
Centre for Wind, Waves and Water, School of Civil Engineering, The University of Sydney, Sydney, NSW 2006, Australia
4
Marine Studies Institute, The University of Sydney, Sydney, NSW 2006, Australia
5
Department of Marine Environment and Engineering, National Sun Yat-Sen University, Kaohsiung 80424, Taiwan
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Fluids 2019, 4(2), 99; https://doi.org/10.3390/fluids4020099
Received: 7 February 2019 / Revised: 15 May 2019 / Accepted: 20 May 2019 / Published: 29 May 2019
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Nonlinear Wave Hydrodynamics)
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Abstract

The formation mechanism of extreme waves in the coastal areas is still an open contemporary problem in fluid mechanics and ocean engineering. Previous studies have shown that the transition of water depth from a deeper to a shallower zone increases the occurrence probability of large waves. Indeed, more efforts are required to improve the understanding of extreme wave statistics variations in such conditions. To achieve this goal, large scale experiments of unidirectional irregular waves propagating over a variable bottom profile considering different transition water depths were performed. The validation of two highly nonlinear numerical models was performed for one representative case. The collected data were examined and interpreted by using spectral or bispectral analysis as well as statistical analysis. The higher probability of occurrence of large waves was confirmed by the statistical distributions built from the measured free surface elevation time series as well as by the local maximum values of skewness and kurtosis around the end of the slope. Strong second-order nonlinear effects were highlighted as waves propagate into the shallower region. A significant amount of wave energy was transmitted to low-frequency modes. Based on the experimental data, we conclude that the formation of extreme waves is mainly related to the second-order effect, which is also responsible for the generation of long waves. It is shown that higher-order nonlinearities are negligible in these sets of experiments. Several existing models for wave height distributions were compared and analysed. It appears that the generalised Boccotti’s distribution can predict the exceedance of large wave heights with good confidence. View Full-Text
Keywords: coastal areas; extreme waves; statistical analysis; bispectral analysis; nonlinear wave models coastal areas; extreme waves; statistical analysis; bispectral analysis; nonlinear wave models
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MDPI and ACS Style

Zhang, J.; Benoit, M.; Kimmoun, O.; Chabchoub, A.; Hsu, H.-C. Statistics of Extreme Waves in Coastal Waters: Large Scale Experiments and Advanced Numerical Simulations. Fluids 2019, 4, 99.

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