Modeling of nonlinear wave propagation over fringing reefs Academic Article uri icon


  • The applicability of existing nonlinear (triad) spectral models for steep slopes (0.1-0.2) characteristic of reef environments was investigated, using both deterministic (phase-resolving) and stochastic (phased-averaged) formulations. Model performance was tested using laboratory observations of unidirectional wave transformation over steep and smooth bathymetry profiles. The models, developed for mild slopes, were implemented with minimal modifications (the inclusion of breaking parametrizations and linear steep-slope corrections) required by laboratory data. The deterministic model produced typically more accurate predictions than the stochastic one, but the phase averaged formulation proved fast enough to allow for an inverse modeling search for the optimal breaking parametrization. The effects of the additional assumptions of the stochastic approach resulted in a slower than observed evolution of the infragravity band. Despite the challenge posed by the fast wave evolution and energetic breaking characteristic to the steep reef slopes, both formulations performed overall well, and should be considered as good provisional candidates for use in numerical investigation of wave-current interaction processes on steep reefs. 2011 Elsevier B.V.

published proceedings


altmetric score

  • 3

author list (cited authors)

  • Sheremet, A., Kaihatu, J. M., Su, S., Smith, E. R., & Smith, J. M.

citation count

  • 46

complete list of authors

  • Sheremet, A||Kaihatu, JM||Su, S-F||Smith, ER||Smith, JM

publication date

  • January 2011