Air-water two-phase flow modeling of turbulent surf and swash zone wave motions

R. Bakhtyar*, A. M. Razmi, D. A. Barry, A. Yeganeh-Bakhtiary, Qingping Zou

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

28 Citations (Scopus)
23 Downloads (Pure)


Wave breaking and wave runup/rundown have a major influence on nearshore hydrodynamics, morphodynamics and beach evolution. In the case of wave breaking, there is significant mixing of air and water at the wave crest, along with relatively high kinetic energy, so prediction of the free surface is complicated. Most hydrodynamic studies of surf and swash zone are derived from single-phase flow, in which the role of air is ignored. Two-phase flow modeling, consisting of both phases of water and air, may be a good alternative numerical modeling approach for simulating nearshore hydrodynamics and, consequently, sediment transport. A two-phase flow tool can compute more realistically the shape of the free surface, while the effects of air are accounted for. This paper used models based on two-dimensional, two-phase Reynolds-averaged Navier-Stokes equations, the volume-of-fluid surface capturing technique and different turbulence closure models, i.e., k-ε, k-ω and re-normalized group (RNG). Our numerical results were compared with the available experimental data. Comparison of the employed method with a model not utilizing a two-phase flow modeling demonstrates that including the air phase leads to improvement in simulation of wave characteristics, especially in the vicinity of the breaking point. The numerical results revealed that the RNG turbulence model yielded better predictions of nearshore zone hydrodynamics, although the k-ε model also gave satisfactory predictions. The model provides new insights for the wave, turbulence and means flow structure in the surf and swash zones.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1560-1574
Number of pages15
JournalAdvances in Water Resources
Issue number12
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2010


  • Free surface
  • Incompressible flow
  • Multiphase flow
  • RANS
  • Reynolds stress model
  • RNG

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Water Science and Technology


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