Evolution of wave shape over a low-crested structure

Qingping Zou*, Zhong Peng

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

59 Citations (Scopus)
55 Downloads (Pure)


This paper investigates the evolution of wave shape over a low-crested structure (LCS) using a 2-D RANS-VOF model. The model predictions of surface elevation and wave skewness and asymmetry are in good agreement with the recent measurements collected in a small scale wave channel at the University of Cantabria (UCA). The empirical formulae relating wave skewness and asymmetry to local Ursell number by Peng et al. (2009) have been extended to include the effect of wave reflection and the ramp in front of LCS and a wider range of Ursell number in the present study. In the presence of LCS, wave skewness decreases slightly above the seaward slope, then increases rapidly up to a maximum value above the structure crest, and decreases drastically above the leeward slope. Wave asymmetry decreases sharply above the seaward slope to a negative minimum value at the structure crest, and then increases rapidly to a positive value above the leeward slope. Our bispectral analysis indicates that sum interactions increase skewness and decrease asymmetry while difference interactions have opposite effects and that the former dominate above the seaward slope and on the structure crest but the latter dominate above the leeward slope of LCS. The observed wave shape evolution over a LCS can be attributed to the changes in the interplay of sum and difference interactions. We found that incident wave height and wave period, relative structure freeboard, structure crest width and structure porosity are the controlling factors for wave shape evolution over LCS. This study provides new insights on the role of wave skewness and asymmetry in the breakwaters stability and sediment transport around the structure and on the beaches behind it.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)478-488
Number of pages11
JournalCoastal Engineering
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2011


  • Bispectrum
  • Low-crested structure
  • Nonlinearity
  • Wave asymmetry
  • Wave shape
  • Wave skewness

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Environmental Engineering
  • Ocean Engineering


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