Evolution of infragravity waves over a shoal under non‐breaking conditions

Shaowu Li, Zhiling Liao, Ye Liu, Qingping Zou

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Citations (Scopus)
24 Downloads (Pure)


The present paper aims to clarify the mechanism of infragravity wave (IGW) energy amplification over nearshore shoals reported in recent studies. Wave transformation and energy transfer between short waves (SWs) and IGWs were investigated using SWASH model for nonbreaking random waves propagating over trapezoid shoals with different bottom slopes. It was found that the time lag of IGWs relative to SW groups is the major mechanism for energy transfer from SWs to IGWs and the amplification of IGW energy over all segments of the shoal. The time lag is generated on the front slope and enlarged on the plateau of the shoal, decreases on the rear slope with higher decreasing rates on milder slopes. Over the rear slope, the evolution of IGWs depends on the relative importance of deshoaling and nonlinear energy transfer. It was found that nonlinear energy transfer dominates over the rear slope gentler than 1/60, causing the IGW energy to increase over the first half of the deshoaling process and decrease over the second half whereas deshoaling dominates for steeper rear slope and the IGW energy decay over the whole slope. It is demonstrated numerically and theoretically that the shoals with gentler bottom slopes amplify the IGW energy more effectively by providing longer distance for nonlinear energy transfer to build up. The persistent nonlinear energy transfer on the plateau indicates the important role of wave spatial evolution history in the subsequent IGWs evolution. Strong free IGWs were detected on leeward of the shoal, possibly due to release of topography-induced additional bound IGWs.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere2019JC015864
JournalJournal of Geophysical Research: Oceans
Issue number8
Early online date29 Apr 2020
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2020

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geophysics
  • Forestry
  • Oceanography
  • Aquatic Science
  • Ecology
  • Water Science and Technology
  • Soil Science
  • Geochemistry and Petrology
  • Earth-Surface Processes
  • Atmospheric Science
  • Earth and Planetary Sciences (miscellaneous)
  • Space and Planetary Science
  • Palaeontology


Dive into the research topics of 'Evolution of infragravity waves over a shoal under non‐breaking conditions'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this