Nonlinear and directional effects on wave predictions over muddy bottoms: central chenier plain coast, Western Louisiana Shelf, USA
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2015, Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg. The sensitivity of wave-mud interaction on directionality and nonlinearity is investigated. A phase-resolving nonlinear wave model which accounts for directional wave propagation and mud damping is used to simulate wave propagation over a muddy shelf. Field data from an experiment conducted at the central chenier plain coast, western Louisiana, USA are used to validate the model. Recently, verification of a one-dimensional wave model with the field data showed that this model was able to replicate the evolution of wave spectra over muddy bottoms. In this study, unidirectional wave spectra were also run through the parabolic model, but with various initial angles. Linear wave model runs were also performed in order to gauge the effect of nonlinear evolution on the results. Significant wave height and total energy contained in three different spectral bands from the model are compared to the data over the shelf, and correlation metrics calculated. While the model generally performs well no matter the initial angle, at no point does a zero initial angle compare best to the data, indicating that a unidirectional model may be missing some of the dynamical features of wave propagation over a muddy shelf. Furthermore, despite similar correlation scores between linear and nonlinear model comparisons of bulk statistics, it is seen the linear model does not replicate some aspects of the spectral evolution (such as low-frequency generation and amplification) shown in the data and captured by the nonlinear model. Despite the relatively short propagation distance, the effects of both directionality and nonlinearity play a noticeable role in wave evolution over a muddy seabed.