Interaction mechanisms among waves, currents and a submerged plate

Dezhi Ning, Lifen Chen*, Hongxing Lin, Qingping Zou, Bin Teng

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

10 Citations (Scopus)
38 Downloads (Pure)


Wave-induced loads on a submerged plate, representative of submerged breakwater, coastal-bridge deck and a certain type of wave energy converter, in a uniform current are investigated in this study using fully nonlinear numerical wave tanks (NWTs) based on potential flow theory. The coupling effect of wave and current is explored, and the underlying interaction mechanisms of the hydrodynamic forces are described. The presence of a background current modifies the frequency dispersion. It produces changes of the water-surface elevation, and also has an effect on wave-induced loads. Depending on the nonlinearity, higher harmonic wave components are generated above the submerged plate. These contribute to the wave forces. It is found that the horizontal and the vertical force, hence the moment, are affected in the opposite way by the currents. The Doppler shifted effect dominates the vertical force and the moment on the plate. Whereas, the Doppler shifted effect and the generation of higher wave harmonics play opposite roles on the horizontal forces. The contribution of 2nd order harmonics is found to be up to 30% of the linear component. The current-induced drag force, represented by the advection term ρU∂φ/∂x in the pressure equation, is found to lead to a decrease in the moment for the most range of wavelengths considered, and an increase in the moment for a small range of longer waves.

Original languageEnglish
Article number101911
JournalApplied Ocean Research
Early online date29 Aug 2019
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2019


  • Fluid structure interaction
  • Fully nonlinear numerical wave tanks
  • Higher harmonic waves
  • Submerged flat plate
  • Wave forces, moment
  • Wave-current interaction

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ocean Engineering


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