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Boussinesq Models and Their Application to Coastal Processes across a Wide Range of Scales.
Non-linear wave theory. Coastal Engineering.

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Processes across a Wide Range of Scales

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Abstract: In this paper, the development of a class of depth-integrated, phase-resolving models for surface wave propagation, known as

Boussinesq-type models (BTMs), is reviewed. This review concentrates on the extension of the leading order formulation for weakly dispersive waves to include a range of physical effects and considers model applications at a range of scales ranging from surf zone processes to

ocean basinscale tsunami propagation. A brief overview of the connection of BTMs to nonhydrostatic models, in either depth-integrated or

three-dimensional form, is included. DOI: 10.1061/(ASCE)WW.1943-5460.0000350. 2016 American Society of Civil Engineers.

Author keywords: Boussinesq equations; Nonhydrostatic models; Surf zone; Tsunamis.

Introduction

With the advent of signicantly more powerful computers in recent

decades, it has become possible to perform phase-resolving simulations of surface and internal wave motions over physical length

scales that are extensive enough to provide a comprehensive picture

of the processes under consideration. The main tool for performing

these studies in the context of relatively long waves (or waves having wavelengths that are long in comparison to the water depth) has

been a modeling technique based on the theory for weakly dispersive waves pioneered by Joseph Boussinesq in the late 1800s

(Boussinesq 1872). From their original niche as a tool for investigating the forms of surface waves propagating in shallow water, the

Boussinesq equations or their variants have been transformed into a

computational tool of great power and exibility. Although practical models began to be developed in the 1970s (Abbott et al. 1978),

application was generally limited by computer resources. This

began to change in the 1990s, and the growth in development and

application of Boussinesq-type models (or BTMs, as they are

referred to in the recent review by Brocchini 2013) has been explosive, with simulations of surface wind waves over domains with

dimensions of tens of kilometers, or of tsunami waves at global

scale, now being readily feasible. The Journal of Waterway, Port,

Coastal and Ocean Engineering has played a central role in the development of BTMs as a common tool in coastal applications.

Based on the Web of Science indexing for the journal, which

appears to start with the name of Journal of the Waterway, Port,

Coastal and Ocean Division in 1977, papers discussing

Boussinesq model development represent the top three most cited

papers in the journals history, led by the landmark paper by Nwogu

(1993) discussed later, with an additional fourth paper in the

remaining top 10.

Boussinesq equations have classically been derived using a double perturbation expansion in two parameters. One parameter m is

1

Applied Coastal Research, Univ. of Delaware, Newark, DE 19716.

E-mail: kirby@udel.edu

Note. This manuscript was submitted on February 23, 2016; approved

on May 2, 2016; published online on August 31, 2016. Discussion period

open until January 31, 2017; separate discussions must be submitted for

individual papers. This paper is part of the Journal of Waterway, Port,

Coastal, and Ocean Engineering, ASCE, ISSN 0733-950X.

ASCE

horizontal length scale l 0, commonly represented by the inverse of

a wave number k0. This parameter may be understood to be a dispersion parameter, the connection being made clear by examining the

Taylor series expansion of the linear wave dispersion relationship

for kh about the shallow water limit kh = 0

1

2

3

5

2

v h=g kh tanh kh kh kh kh kh :::

3

15

(1)

where model selection depends on the truncation of the series at a

xed order, together with optimization achieved by rearrangement

of the truncated series to achieve more accurate properties. Shallow

water theory results from the neglect of all but leading order terms,

giving a dispersion relationship

v 2 gk2 h

(2)

p

with a resulting phase speed c v =k gh that does not depend

on frequency v . The model equations that correspond to this limit

are referred to as the nonlinear shallow water equations (NLSWEs)

and describe the evolution of water depth and depth-uniform horizontal velocities in horizontal coordinates (x, y) and time t. The classic theory described by Boussinesq (1872) hinges on retention of

one further term and leads to models that are asymptotically equivalent at least to

1

2

(3)

v 2 gk2 h 1 kh

3

and that are referred to as being weakly dispersive. The development of the modern theory revolves around the effective rearrangement of the truncated series to improve accuracy (using techniques

such as Pade approximants), the extension of the series to higher

order, and the combination of both.

The second parameter d represents the ratio of a characteristic

wave amplitude a0 to depth h0, thus representing the degree of nonlinearity in the problem. Linearization results from neglecting terms

of O (d ) in comparison to leading order terms, whereas the classic

theory retains terms of O (d ) and further imposes the restriction

that d = m 2 O1. The resulting theory thus neglects terms of

Od 2 ; d m 2 ; m 4 and smaller. The development of the modern

theory often imposes no restriction on the size of d , leading to so-

03116005-1

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placeholder in the nondimensional equations. This entire class of

models is referred to as BTMs rather than Boussinesq models, in

recognition of the fact that the initial context of Boussinesqs work

has been stretched a great deal to extend the approachs applicability to a wider range of problems.

The historical development of modern BTMs from the initial formulations of weakly nonlinear (Peregrine 1966, 1967) or fully nonlinear (Serre 1953; Green and Naghdi 1976) models for propagation

in constant depth or over simple slopes has proceeded with a range

of goals or intentions. Early reviews of these developments may be

found in Kirby (1997, 2003) and Madsen and Schffer (1999). The

resulting classical theory and modern extensions have played a key

role in the understanding of wave propagation and the development

of models that are useful for both scientic discovery and engineering application. A great deal of effort has gone into the extension of

the models to higher order in the parameter m 2 with the goal of

improving dispersion properties, resolution of the ow eld, and

representation of the nonlinear dynamics of complex wave elds.

This topic is reviewed extensively in Madsen and Fuhrman (2010)

and is covered only briey in this paper. Alternately, attempts to

improve and extend the basic theoretical framework for lower order

models continue as well. Finally, modern-day models incorporate a

wide range of extensions to account for additional physical effects

that lie outside the range of the classical formulation for inviscid

ow. Brocchini (2013) has provided a recent overview of a number

of aspects of the development and application of BTMs, including

the development of the theoretical basis since the 1990s, model

extensions to include a variety of physical effects, and the evolution

of numerical approaches. The resulting Boussinesq models are

highly evolved and are routinely applied to the study of fundamental

problems in ocean sciences in which this review is focused, as well

as to the applied engineering design of coastal infrastructure. There

is an extensive literature on the application of the model to coastal

engineering problems, such as harbor oscillation (Abbott et al. 1978;

Lepelletier and Raichlen 1987), morphology adjustment (Karambas

and Koutitas 2002; Xiao et al. 2010; Kim 2015), and breakwater and

reef overtopping and coastal inundation (Lynett et al. 2010a; Roeber

and Cheung 2012; Li et al. 2014).

This review concentrates on a description of recent developments and applications of leading order [i.e., O ( m 2)] BTMs,

which still represent the level of model development most frequently represented in application. The review is organized as

follows. There is a fairly general discussion of the development

of a basic O ( m 2) model to provide both a basis for present modeling approaches and connections to related developments in other

areas. Then, a brief discussion of the development of higher-order

versions of the theory is presented. Later, there is a brief overview

of numerical approaches, concentrating on the nite-volume

method, which is dominating the eld at present. Next, there is a

discussion of model extensions to incorporate additional physical

effects including wave breaking, boundary-layer driven turbulence and current shear, mixing and transport of scalars, and

applications to internal waves. The remaining sections describe

model applications in areas in which Boussinesq modeling has

provided a singular advance in understanding in recent years,

including applications to surf zone processes and tsunami generation, propagation, and inundation. There also is a discussion of

the appearance and rapid development of the so-called nonhydrostatic models (NTMs), which provide an avenue to development

of three-dimensional (3D) solutions for arbitrary free-surface

ows under fairly general conditions. Finally, the paper provides

suggestions for continued avenues for development.

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O (l2) Model

Although the process for extending BTMs to great accuracy in

increasing water depth has met with great success, the resulting

models are complex and difcult to program and apply. Given the

development of the class of models now referred to as NHMs, it is

unclear if there is a niche for the continued development of highorder Boussinesq theory with pressure and velocities explicitly

developed in power series in z. However, there is a great deal of

ongoing use and development of low-order models for both scientic and practical application. This section provides a slightly different take on the derivation of such a model to provide some connection to the class of NHMs.

First, concentrate here on examining a consistent model for a

lowest order, fully nonlinear version of the Boussinesq model, following the results of Nwogu (1993) and Chen (2006). The derivation is presented in some detail to point out connections with developments in other areas that are not usually associated strictly with

the Boussinesq approach. Neglecting viscous stress terms, one

starts with the Euler equations in hx; t z h x; t

rh u wz 0

ut u rh u wuz

wt u rh w wwz

(4)

1

rh p 0

r

(5)

1

pz g 0

r

(6)

uid density, and where still-water depth h and surface displacement h are single-valued functions of horizontal position x and

time t (thus allowing for the generation of wave motion through bottom motion). Density r is constant to eliminate the possibility of

vorticity generation through baroclinic effects. The motion is constrained by kinematic conditions

h t u rh h w; z h

(7)

ht u rh h w; z h

(8)

surface

p pa x; t; z h

(9)

for example, in the generation of meteotsunamis (Proudman 1929)

or in modeling of wave generation and modication by wind (Liu

et al. 2016).

The framework for developing the Boussinesq theory depends

on a scaling analysis. A scale h0 is adopted for depth and l 0 for horizontal variations, and let

u0

u

w

; w0

u0

w0

(10)

phase speed c0 and a dimensionless parameter characterizing wave

height, which is denoted as d . In keeping with the idea that

our

p

theory will be a correction to the long wave limit, c0 gh0 .

03116005-2

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Substituting Eq. (10) into Eq. (4) and forcing a leading order balance between the two terms gives w0 m u0 m d c0 , where m

h0 =0 characterizes the ratio of water depth to wavelength or other

horizontal scale. The shallow water limit follows from m ! 0,

whereas the Boussinesq theory follows from developing expansions

in powers of m 1. Turning to the momentum equations, it is recognized that the pressure must scale at leading order with the weight

of the water column, and let

p p0 p0 ; p0 r gh0

(11)

are given by (with primes dropped)

truncate the model equations. Subsequently, models of this type

will be referred to as fully nonlinear models, whereas models that

are truncated in powers of d with some underlying assumption

about the relative size of the Ursell number will be referred to as

being weakly nonlinear.

A weakly dispersive model following Chen (2006) is now

derived but with some generalization of the approach to draw parallels with other models that have not been placed in classical

Boussinesq form. First, the vertical momentum equation is integrated from an arbitrary elevation z to the surface dh to obtain

dh

pz d ~

Dwdz

(18)

p a dh z d m 2

z

rh u wz 0

(12)

d ut d u rh u wuz rh p 0

(13)

d m 2 wt d u rh w wwz pz 1 0

(14)

The apparent smallness of the contribution of vertical acceleration to the pressure eld is clear in Eq. (14). Considering the kinematic surface boundary condition [Eq. (7)], h is characterized by an

amplitude a0 and obtains

h t d u rh h w; z d h

~h t u rh h d ~

h w; z h d ~

h

(16)

can be absorbed through the Bernoulli constant. Fluctuating pressure is then characterized using a0 as a scale for the pressure head,

leading to

(17)

In the absence of imposed forcing of either type, d is a free parameter constrained by initial or boundary data for the wave

motion.

The classic theory (Boussinesq 1872; Korteweg and de Vries

1895) corresponds to a double expansion in d and m 2 with each

assumed small and with the Ursell number d = m 2 O1. The

original Boussinesq or Korteweg-deVries (KdV) equations represent corrections to the linear, nondispersive shallow water theory,

which retains corrections to the leading order for weak O (d ) nonlinearity and weak O ( m 2) dispersive effects. This restriction on

the theory has long been superceded in practice due to the need, in

the case of short wind waves, to obtain a model that is valid for

larger values of m , as discussed later. It is now common to see the

development of models in which series expansions to much

higher powers of m are retained, together with no assumption on

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px; z; t z d p0 x; t m 2 p2 x; z; t

(19)

(15)

where the choice d a0 =h0 has been introduced as the nondimensional parameter characterizing the motions amplitude. Turning to

the remaining conditions, it is noted that, if the motion is locally

forced by bottom displacement, then the magnitude of this motion

should serve as the scale for amplitude of the generated wave. (This

result is particularly clear in the usual approach to tsunami modeling

in which the initial static water displacement is set equal to the bottom displacement.) In this case, the depth should be separated into a

time-constant value hx scaled by h0 and a perturbation to this

value ~hx; t scaled by the amplitude a0, leading to

p d~

pa; z d h

following the ow. The only O (1) term in Eq. (18) represents the

increase in hydrostatic pressure down from the still-water level z =

0. The term in square brackets is only present in case of uctuating

air pressure. All terms scaled by d represent uctuating wave

motions relative to a constant background state. Neglecting atmospheric forcing, Eq. (18) can be written as

p2 x; z; t m

dh

2

Dwdz

(20)

theory, where terms at O ( m 2) are truncated at leading order,

D(w) would be replaced by wt in Eq. (20).

The classical Boussinesq theory would be further developed

here by replacing w in terms of u using the continuity equation [Eq.

(12)]. Integrating Eq. (12) from the bottom to elevation z and using

the kinematic boundary condition [Eq. (16)] gives

z

rh udz

(21)

wz ht uh rh h

h

and using Leibnitzs rule then gives a depth-integrated volume conservation law

!

dh

udz 0

(22)

Ht rh

h

effects of a moving bottom h(t).

Turning nally to the horizontal momentum equation, it is noted

that the crucial step in Chens development of a consistent theory at

leading order stemmed from requiring that the equation be integrated over the entire depth, as opposed to being evaluated at some

arbitrary level as had been done in Wei et al. (1995) or Chen et al.

(2003). Eq. (13) is approached by transforming the advective acceleration into a vorticity/Bernoulli head form to obtain

ut d Xiz u n wiz

1

rh d u u w2 h m 2 p2 0

(23)

2

where n = horizontal vector component of vorticity; X = scalar vertical vorticity value, and where the terms involving squares of

03116005-3

then be expanded in powers of m 2 to obtain

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ux; z; t u0 x; t m 2 u2 x; z; t O m 4

(24)

of the resulting model equations as depth increases. In the shallow

water limit for inviscid, irrotational ow, u0 is automatically identi , because terms of O ( m 2)

ed with the depth-averaged velocity u

vanish and the horizontal ow becomes depth uniform, with corresponding horizontal vorticity n 0.

In developing a fully nonlinear theory, Wei et al. (1995) effectively neglected V3 through the process of invoking a velocity

potential. Chen et al. (2003) closed the system by evaluating Eq.

(29) at z = za, neglecting the rst component of V3 because

u2 za 0. Chen (2006) closed the system by depth integrating Eq.

(29). After evaluating the Bernoulli head, higher-order acceleration,

and nonhydrostatic pressure, the resulting equations in a form

allowing for vertical motion of za is given by Shi et al. (2012)

h t rh M 0

3 O m 4

ua;t d ua rh ua rh h m 2 V1 V2 V

(32)

Boussinesq theory for irrotational waves is usually obtained by

imposing the restriction that the horizontal vorticity vanishes. This,

together with a sequential solution of the continuity equation and

bottom boundary condition for increasing powers of m , gives the

required expression for horizontal and vertical velocities as functions of z. The great contribution in the derivation of Nwogu (1993)

was in showing that choosing u0 ua uza to represent the horizontal velocity at an arbitrary elevation za z h led to a model

with great potential for optimization relative to the full linear

theory. Kennedy et al. (2001) further showed that allowing the reference elevation to move up and down with the free surface

za z h bh

where

A rh hua;

where

z2a

h2

rh B zarh A rh

Bt h At

V1

2

2

;t

A rh ua

(27)

w1 z A zB

(28)

V2 rh za h ua rh A

(25)

properties of the model equations as well. These artices are now

commonly used in developing higher-order theories. (Allowing za

to move up and down is also critical to keeping the reference level

within the water column, which is not guaranteed in the case of a

xed elevation.) These choices lead to an expression for u2 z given

by

1

u2 z za zrh A z2a z2 rh B

(26)

2

1

A h B2

2

"

#!

p2

1 2

O m4

rh

d ua u2 w1

2

r

(29)

water momentum equation, and the remaining terms represent leading order dispersive effects and are still z dependent. The term V3 is

given by

V3 X0 iz u2 X2 iz ua

(30)

vertical vorticity and horizontal velocity.

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1 2

z h 2 ua rh B

2 a

V3 X0 iz u2 X2 iz ua

(33)

Nwogu (1993) showed that the choice of reference level za could be

used to optimize Eqs. (31) and (32) with respect to prediction of the

linear phase speed. Linearizing the model and applying it to a single

wave component in constant water depth yields the dimensional dispersion relationship

1

2

1 a kh

3

v 2 gk2 h

(34)

2

1 akh

where

1 za 2 za

a

2 h

h

(24)(28) in Eq. (23) nally gives

ua;t d ua rh ua rh h m 2 u2;t d V3

(31)

(35)

Madsen et al. (1991) achieved the same end result by manipulating linear operators in equations derived using depth-averaged velocity as the dependent variable. In either case, the choice a

2=5 reduces Eq. (34) to the (2, 2) Pade approximant, which is

accurate to O ( m 6). Nwogu (1993) suggested that the range of

model applicability could be extended to deeper water by adopting

a criterion for choosing a based on minimizing an error measure

over some range of kh values. Nwogu (1993) chose to minimize the

error in phase speed over the range 0 kh 3. Results for the ratio

of model/exact phase speed are shown in Fig. 1, in which the

dashed-dotted line represents a model with depth-averaged velocity as the dependent variable (Peregrine 1966, 1967), the dotted

line represents the Pade approximant, and the dashed line represents Nwogus optimization, giving a value of a 0:39 or

za 0:53h.

03116005-4

1.2

1.1

c/cexact

0.9

0.8

0.7

0.6

0

Fig. 1. Phase speed estimates relative to full linear theory: O ( m 2) Boussinesq based on depth-averaged velocity (dashed-dotted line); O ( m 2)

Boussinesq (data from Nwogu 1993) (dotted line); O ( m 4) Boussinesq (adapted from Gobbi et al. 2000, with permission) (dashed line)

120

h= 2.5cm

h= 5.0cm

100

h= 7.5cm

h=10.0cm

80

h=12.5cm

h=15.0cm

60

h=17.5cm

h=20.0cm

40

h=25.0cm

h=30.0cm

20

h=35.0cm

h=47.0cm

0

20

22

24

26

28

30

32

34

36

38

40

Time (sec)

Fig. 2. Sample water surface displacements at wave gauge locations in Mase and Kirby (1992), Run 2: measured (solid lines); Nwogu optimization

(dashed lines); and Simarro optimization (dotted lines) (reprinted from Choi et al. 2015b, with permission)

not unique, and model Eqs. (31) and (32) can be further manipulated

to improve model accuracy. Schffer and Madsen (1995) showed

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by operator rearrangement to give a model with a Pade (4,4) dispersion relationship of the form

03116005-5

1

1

2

kh4

1 kh

10

9

945

v gk h

Okh

4

1

2

4

1 kh kh

9

63

(36)

The resulting model has a signicantly improved range of accuracy in both phase speed and group velocity. No error minimization

strategy was used to try to improve the results further. Schffer and

Madsen (1995) also advocated the use of the linear shoaling gradient a5 to assess the accuracy of the model for waves over a sloping

bed, dened by

Ax

hx

a5

A

h

(37)

a5 as

1

1 G1 cosh 2kh

2

a5 G

;

1 G2

2kh

sinh 2kh

Ht rh H

u 0

rh u

grh h

t u

u

1

p2 h

rh p2 h

rh h h 0

2r

rH

(38)

t

w

(1999) described later, Kennedy et al. (2002) showed that coefcients could be chosen in the linear approximation in a manner that

eliminated all O ( m 4) terms without sacricing model accuracy.

This result is equivalent in spirit to the ndings of Schffer and

Madsen (1995). The derivations used to obtain the extensions to O

( m 4) accuracy in models expressing only O ( m 2) terms are quite

complex, and the results have not been used in any of the popular

lower order models that are presently in wide use.

Other authors (Simarro 2013; Simarro et al. 2013; Galan et al.

2012) have advocated optimization strategies based on a number of

criteria, including accuracy in phase speed, group velocity, local

shoaling gradient, and integrated energy ux measures. The question of whether the choice of optimization would improve results in

relatively shallow water was raised recently by Simarro (2015)

in connection with a study of surf zone currents (Choi et al. 2015a).

In response, Choi et al. (2015b) showed calculations for shoaling

and breaking random waves in the one-dimensional (1D) laboratory

experiment of Mase and Kirby (1992). The results, partially illustrated in Fig. 2, compare water surface elevations for model results

based on Nwogus optimization in comparison to results based on

the criteria of Simarro (2013). The results show that the predictions

of the two models are closer to each other than either is to the laboratory data. This result holds for a range of quantities including

wave height, power spectra, and third-moment statistics. This demonstration is not meant to imply that there would not be a range of

depths in which the optimizations could be distinct, particularly in

deep water. However, it is apparent that errors caused by a less than

perfect model setup and specication of boundary conditions can

overwhelm considerations of variations between models. This

result is likely to be even more pronounced in the eld in which

uncertainties in bathymetry, tidal and wind-driven ows, and incident wave conditions would likely combine to create greater variations than would be obtained due to differences in the models.

The Other Approach: Maintaining Nonhydrostatic

Pressure p2 as a Distinct Effect

Before moving on to higher-order Boussinesq models in the more

classical setting, consider briey the development of a model

obtained by depth integrating Eq. (29), with p2 retained and determined externally using some approximate form of Eq. (20). Models

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may be thought of as a variant either of the low-order Boussinesq

models considered in this section or of the 3D NHMs discussed

later. Models of this type have appeared recently, both as alternate

approaches to modeling dispersion in surface waves, and as a means

for representing large vertical accelerations in depth-integrated, deformable owing bodies. Two prominent examples are the hydrodynamic model NEOWAVE, developed by Yamazaki et al. (2009),

and the model for avalanches based on saturated debris ow proposed by Denlinger and Iverson (2004). Yamazaki et al. (2009)

integrated the governing equations over depth and wrote them in

, leading to

terms of depth-averaged velocities

u; w

p2 h

rH

(39)

where the last equation for w

expression [Eq. (20)] for p2 and neglecting all nonlinear terms arising while using Liebnitzs rule on the integral. The development of

the second equation depends in turn on the same linearization and

the assumption that

p 2 1=2p2 h, which is suspect because p2

itself depends on w, which in turn varies linearly over depth.

Yamazaki et al. (2009) proceeded by solving the hydrostatic portion

of the problem using an appropriate NLSWE solver and then used

an approach based on Poissons equation to determine the pressure

correction, after which the velocity eld is again updated. A different approach for obtaining the nonhydrostatic correction is

described by Lu et al. (2015), in which the Poisson problem is not

used in the correction.

For the case of a granular debris ow, Denlinger and Iverson

(2004) proposed a similar approach but retained a more complete

version of the nonlinear expression for pressure, leading to an

expression for a reduced gravity g0 given by

g0 g D

w

(40)

is dened as before and is

The depth-averaged vertical velocity w

evaluated directly using the kinematic boundary conditions.

Denlinger and Iverson (2004) showed that the resulting formulation

preserves the slope-oriented solution for the ow of a layer of uniform thickness, indicating that the model is valid for vertical velocities of the same order as horizontal velocities.

As pointed out by Castro-Orgaz et al. (2015), there is a close

connection between these approaches and the Boussinesq theory,

although the connection is not maintained adequately in all cases. In

particular, a careful derivation of the depth-integrated equations

shows that, for a linear variation of w over depth, the vertical variation of p2 is quadratic, which is at odds with the assumptions used in

Yamazaki et al. (2009) and indicates that their pressure correction is

incorrect at leading order. The structure of models of this type and

their relationship to the usual Boussinesq theory needs further consideration in the future. An interesting example of a procedure for

obtaining an accurate representation of the nonhydrostatic pressure

term, using Boussinesq scaling, may be found in Donahue et al.

(2015).

03116005-6

Fig. 3. Comparison of (a) horizontal and (b) vertical velocity proles at O ( m 2) and O ( m 4) (reprinted from Gobbi et al. 2000, with permission)

The development of fully nonlinear Boussinesq models and methodologies for optimizing model properties has led to a continuing

effort to develop improved models, using both extensions of the series expansions to higher power in m 2 and the use of a ner vertical

subdivision of the water column. These extensions are reviewed

briey here. A more complete review of models based on higherorder series may be found in Madsen and Fuhrman (2010).

Higher-Order Series

Two early examples of the extension of models to higher order in m

include the work of Gobbi et al. (2000) and Agnon et al. (1999).

Proceeding in a fairly ad hoc manner, Gobbi et al. (2000) used a

weighted average of two velocity potentials dened at separate reference elevations and then used expansions to O ( m 4), obtaining a

fully nonlinear model with linear dispersion properties corresponding to the (4,4) Pade approximant. No further attempts at model

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optimization were made. The resulting model provided a fairly robust estimation of internal ow kinematics compared with the full

linear theory, as illustrated in Fig. 3. Gobbi and Kirby (1999) developed a variable depth version of the model in one horizontal dimension; this was subsequently extended to two horizontal dimensions

by Zhou and Teng (2010). This approach has not been extended to

higher order, as the extension to the strategy for choosing weighted

averages for potentials is not clear.

The work of Agnon et al. (1999) established the basis for a continued effort in developing higher-order models. Agnon et al.

(1999) rst developed a power series solution for Laplaces equation referenced to values at the still-water level, and then used operator methods to enhance the form of truncated representations of

horizontal and vertical velocities. The resulting model was truncated at leading order in bottom slope terms, which proves to be a

drawback in practice. Madsen et al. (2002, 2003) modied the procedure of Agnon et al. (1999) by referencing the series expansion to

a xed level in the water column rather than the still-water level,

and chose model coefcients by minimizing errors in predictions of

03116005-7

linear velocity proles. Madsen and Agnon (2003) examined the accuracy of the expansions in terms of radius of convergence.

The expansion strategies developed in this series of work can be

extended to high order, with the caveat that numerical implementation becomes difcult due to the presence of high-order spatial

derivatives. The model with truncation at O ( m 6) provides accurate

reproduction of horizontal velocities up to kh 25 and vertical

velocities up to kh 12. Fuhrman et al. (2004, 2006) have investigated the evolution of wave instabilities in deepwater wave patterns

and have demonstrated that the high-order model is a faithful representation of the full water wave problem.

Multilayer Approaches

Models based on extended higher-order series expansions are difcult to implement as a result of the presence of higher and higher

order spatial derivatives as model accuracy increases. Pursuing a

different strategy, Lynett and Liu (2004) suggested dividing the

water column into multiple layers and then formulating the O ( m 2)

in each layer, with the layers coupled by appropriate matching conditions. Lynett and Liu (2004) worked from the Euler equations in

each layer (which opens up the possibility of treating rotational

ows). The derivation is closed by imposing irrotationality. For the

case of two layers, it is possible to eliminate the lower layer velocity, and the resulting model is then a two-equation model for surface

displacement and horizontal velocity in the upper layer. Lynett and

Liu (2004) allowed for arbitrary, moving reference levels in each

layer, and chose the levels based on an optimization for combined

errors in phase speed, group velocity, and shoaling coefcient. The

model provided accurate phase speed up to kh 6 and group velocity up to kh 4. More importantly, the division of the velocity proles into matched segments eliminated the development of reversed

ows or inection points at large kh values, as seen in single-layer

models such as Gobbi et al. (2000). A slightly different version of

the two-layer model, developed to O ( m 2) based on Laplaces equation, may be found in Liu and Fang (2015), which retains the lower

layer velocity as a dependent variable and achieves greater accuracy

in linear dispersion.

Further examples of multilayer approaches include the work of

Chazel et al. (2009), in which the higher-order expansion (Agnon

et al. 1999; Madsen et al. 2003) is applied to the irrotational problem

in each of two layers, and Bai and Cheung (2013), in which a procedure based more closely on the NHM formulation is applied to multiple layers.

Integral Transform Methods

The problem of linear wave propagation in a region of constant

depth can be fully described using an integro-differential equation

with a kernel based on the Fourier transform of the phase velocity.

Karambas and Memos (2009) used this approach to develop a fully

dispersive BTM for weakly nonlinear waves over a mild slope. The

model is seen to be quite accurate compared with laboratory examples, in spite of the limitation of weak nonlinearity and the fact that

the convolution integral is only strictly accurate in constant depth.

The second restriction ends up not being important because the integration kernel dies off rapidly with distance. Further enhancements

of this model are described in Memos et al. (2016).

Numerical Approaches

The review of Brocchini (2013) provided an extensive overview

of numerical methods used in Boussinesq models, including

ASCE

Only a few aspects of this topic are touched on here.

Finite Difference

Wei and Kirby (1995) developed a nite-difference scheme for the

weakly nonlinear equations of Nwogu (1993), using a mixed-order

centered difference scheme in space and the fourth-order AdamsBashforth-Moulton (ABM) scheme in time. The ABM scheme has

remained a popular choice for solving Boussinesq-type problems

and has been used as the basis for a number of codes, along with

higher-order Runge-Kutta methods. The centered difference

scheme for spatial derivatives proved to be noisy in practice, requiring lters to suppress noise near shorelines and in locations with

rapidly changing solutions, such as breaking wave crests. The use

of staggered grid schemes proved to generally be more workable,

but to a large extent the approach has been replaced by widespread

use of nite-volume schemes.

Finite Volume

The vast majority of BTMs in use today are based on nite-volume

schemes. This approach has become dominant largely because the

robustness of numerical schemes developed for the shallow water

equations (Toro 2001; Leveque 2002) carries over to the

Boussinesq application. Starting with the work of Erduran et al.

(2005) and Cienfuegos et al. (2006), the approach has largely supplanted the use of nite-difference models. The shock-capturing

capabilities of the codes, when applied to the NLSWE, has motivated the use of hybrid BTM/NLSWE models in which the shockcapturing properties are allowed to take over and control the wave

breaking process by suppressing the dispersive portion of the governing equations, as discussed later.

Various nite-volume formulations have been used. A number

of models (Erduran et al. 2005; Kim et al. 2009; Tonelli and Petti

2009; Shi et al. 2012; Kazolea et al. 2012) use the fourth-order

MUSCL-TVD scheme to reconstruct velocity variables, and ux

computations are often based on the HLL scheme. The choice of

time-stepping algorithms is fairly evenly split between the ABM

explicit/implicit scheme and various versions of Runge-Kutta

schemes. There are a number of alternative choices that have been

made in all these categories in various models. The models, overall,

are characterized by extreme robustness when compared with their

nite-difference predecessors, and they provide a natural framework for handling two of the problem areas that generally were

troublesome in nite-difference calculations: breaking wave formation, which is treated naturally by the shock-capturing capabilities

of the numerical schemes, and wetting-drying boundaries, which

are handled straightforwardly when the information needed to specify shoreline movement is already carried in the Riemann variables

computed as part of the solution.

FEMs

The FEMs for BTMs have been developed beginning with the

work of Walkley and Berzins (1999, 2002). Modern developments have focused on using the discontinuous Galerkin method

and are reviewed in Brocchini (2013). A recent addition in this

area is the discontinuous Galerkin model of Panda et al. (2014)

applied to the fully nonlinear model of Zhang et al. (2013).

03116005-8

ADV A

3

U (m/ s)

2

1

0

-1

-2

0

10

15

20

25

t(s)

30

35

40

45

ADV A for the run-up experiment of Lynett et al. (2010b); results computed using FUNWAVE-TVD (data from Shi et al. 2012); solid line:

data; dashed line: eddy viscosity breaking model; dash-dot line: hybrid

model

Additional Physics

Wave Breaking

Most aspects of explicit models for breaking wave dissipation,

including roller models (Schffer et al. 1993), detailed vorticity

models (Veeramony and Svendsen 2000), or eddy viscosity models

(Zelt 1991; Kennedy et al. 2000) were already established at the

time of the review of Kirby (2003) and were discussed there. Of

these methods, the eddy viscosity method is still widely used.

Progress in this area since 2003 includes the development of the relative trough Froude number (RTFN) as a breaking criterion for use

in either eddy viscosity or roller models (Okamoto and Basco

2006), and the breaking celerity index (BCI) (DAlessandro and

Tomasicchio 2008), which combines the RTFN criterion with the

earlier criterion developed by Kennedy et al. (2000). Each of these

sees occasional use, along with the original version. Cienfuegos

et al. (2010) further added terms representing breaking effects to

both the mass and momentum equations. Each term is in the form of

a diffusion operator, with diffusivities determined from calibration

against laboratory data.

After the amount of effort devoted to the development of explicit

expressions for wave breaking effects in the 1990s and early 2000s,

it is somewhat surprising that most recent progress has been made

using a hybrid approach in which dispersive effects are turned off

when some criterion is reached, reducing the model to the

NLSWEs. Already steep wave crests rapidly evolve toward discontinuous jump solutions, which are characteristic of the NLSWE,

and lead to energy dissipation rates found in hydraulic jumps or

bores with comparable crest-to-trough surface elevation changes.

The approach, which appears to have rst been introduced by

Tonelli and Petti (2009), goes hand in hand with the adoption of the

nite-volume method as the dominant computational approach,

because these methods had already evolved to provide robust

shock-capturing capabilities for the NLSWE (Toro 2001). Because

the consequence of turning off dispersion and shifting to the

NLSWE form is basically the same in any robust solution method

for the NLSWE, the differences between implementations of the

strategy basically boils down to choosing criteria for (1) when to

turn dispersion off and (2) when to turn it back on.

Tonelli and Petti (2009) used a Froude number criterion based

on the ratio of crest-to-trough wave height to water depth in front of

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critical value is exceeded and the Boussinesq model if the criterion

is below the critical value. The same approach is used in Tonelli and

Petti (2010) and Shi et al. (2012). Tonelli and Petti (2011, 2012)

adopted a lower value of the criterion for switching from the

NLSWEs back to the Boussinesq form to improve model stability.

Roeber and Cheung (2012) used a different criterion based on

the gradient of momentum. The measure is more local than the

Froude number criterion of Tonelli and Petti (2009, 2010, 2011),

and often allows the neglect of dispersion and resulting dissipation

to be localized on the front face of breaking wave crests. Tissier

et al. (2012) used a very different strategy for handling breaking in

their splitting scheme. In the rst step of the scheme, which solves

the NLSWEs, the wave eld is interrogated for the presence of

energy dissipation spikes, which are indicative of the formation of

shocks in the nondispersive solution step. If a measure of normalized dissipation is below a certain value, the second, dispersive

model step regularizes the solution, suppressing breaking. Beyond a

critical level, the wave crest is examined to test for exceedance of a

local surface slope criterion. If this second criterion is exceeded,

dispersion is turned off locally in the second solution step, preserving the dissipation predicted by the NLSWEs. This approach is

adopted in the unstructured grid nite-volume model of Kazolea

et al. (2012) as described in Kazolea et al. (2014).

There has not been a great deal of testing of how different numerical implementations perform when using different approaches

to breaking. Fig. 4 shows a comparison of an eddy viscosity calculation (Kennedy et al. 2000) and hybrid calculation (Tonelli and Petti

2009) in which both are implemented in FUNWAVE-TVD (Shi

et al. 2012). These data are three components of velocity collected

at an ADV located in front of the shoal in the experiment of Lynett

et al. (2010b); there is also a sequence of snapshots of the event later

(see Fig. 17). The two breaking models were run using standard

choices of parameters, and the results are basically indistinguishable. Kazolea et al. (2014) showed similar results for solitary wave

run-up on a plane slope. On the other hand, results for periodic surf

zone waves shown by Kazolea et al. (2014) show a greater difference between the approaches, with the hybrid model apparently performing better.

Turbulence, Vorticity, Boundary Layers, and Mixing

Very few BTM models address the presence of turbulence and vorticity in a direct manner. All BTM models with advective acceleration effects in the horizontal ow eld can advect vertical vorticity

once it is generated but do not address horizontal vorticity associated with turbulent velocity proles or interaction between the components. Lateral mixing effects resulting from turbulence are often

handled using Smagorinsky-like diffusion operators, as is common

in ocean modeling, and bottom friction is treated using standard

quadratic formulations based on depth-averaged velocity with calibrated friction coefcients.

Kim et al. (2009) have developed a more comprehensive treatment of the depth-averaged ow eld, taking into account the presence of turbulence and vorticity. Kim and Lynett (2011) developed

depth-integrated scalar transport equations along similar lines.

They also added a stochastic component to the expression for turbulent stresses, in recognition of the fact that the model failed to develop energetic mixing layers between coowing streams over at

bottoms. As mentioned by the authors, this component of the model

is less crucial for ows over variable bathymetry, in which instabilities and resulting mixing occur more readily. Kim (2015) used this

model together with an erosion/deposition model to model suspended sediment ux and resulting morphology adjustment. Kim

03116005-9

three dimensions (3D), with the upper boundary determined by the

BTM. This conguration becomes more like a 3D NHM formulation (Ma et al. 2013a) but with the velocity eld determined semianalytically from the depth-integrated BTM.

This sequence of papers represents a concerted effort to inject

missing physics (turbulence, vorticity, and mixing) into the BTM

framework, which is usually based on the inviscid Euler equations

as a starting point, with additional effects added in an ad hoc fashion. It has not been clearly demonstrated, however, whether the

extra care leads to an obviously superior model in terms of predictive capabilities. Direct one-to-one comparisons between models or

against data are difcult, because many of the processes being studied are highly irregular or chaotic, such as the generation of large

eddies during strong ows through harbor entrances. The evaluation

of these extended models continues, and it will for some time before

the end-user community is ready to adopt them as the basis for a

standard BTM form for real-world geophysical ows.

Waves on Sheared Mean Currents

Waves in coastal settings may encounter strong currents that are

sheared in the vertical, either through the effects of bottom stress

and turbulence, or in response to inhomogeneities, such as density

stratication. A few attempts have been made to develop

Boussinesq equations that are generalized to take the presence of

strongly sheared mean ows into account. Two early examples

are the work of Shen (2001) and Rego et al. (2001). Rego et al.

(2001) used an approach that was limited to one horizontal

dimension and used a scalar stream function to represent the rotational part of the wave and current eld. The resulting equations

are similar to the model of Veeramony and Svendsen (2000) for

wave breaking but allow for nonzero vorticity at the bottom in

recognition of the dominance of bottom stress in determining the

mean ow prole. Shen (2001) provided a different formulation

based on the vertical velocity w as the main dependent variable,

which is a natural choice in developing wave-current models

because it generalizes the stream function problem to three

dimensions in a straightforward way (McWilliams et al. 2004).

Both derivations work only with the inviscid Euler equations;

thus, details about the vorticity distribution have to be imposed

externally, either directly (Shen 2001), or through specication of

a mean current prole (Rego et al. 2001). In the latter case, the

vertical structure of wave motion was determined in the linear

limit using the Rayleigh equation and used to test the accuracy of

model formulations. The dispersion relationship resulting from

the model by Rego et al. (2001) may be written as

g 1 k2 g 2

2

s s s s g 0 kh s s k

2

1 akh

2

1 a 1=3kh

gk g 0 s s kh

(41)

2

1 akh

where s s v kUs = intrinsic frequency at the mean water surface; and g 0 g 2 are integrals of the current vorticity over water

depth. Fig. 5 shows plots of the linearized model phase speed cb normalized by the exact linear solution ce for two assumed current proles and for a range of kh = m values. The model accuracy is comparable to the formulation of Nwogu (1993) and reduces to it in the

limit of zero vorticity.

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work and have generalized the rotational Boussinesq model of Kim

et al. (2009) to include the presence of a sheared, turbulent mean

ow. The model also depends on the specication of an imposed

mean current, but the model physics allow for waves to modify the

vertical structure of the mean ow. Figs. 6 and 7 show a comparison

of model results to laboratory measurements of mean current proles obtained by Kemp and Simons (1982, 1983) for the case of following and opposing currents, respectively. These results indicate

that following currents experience a drop in current velocity at the

surface, whereas opposing currents become more strongly sheared.

These results are well understood and have been reproduced by 3D,

wave-averaged models. The power of the Boussinesq approach lies

in the use of a depth-integrated model, with the mean current represented as a polynomial with coefcients determined as part of the

solution.

All of these treatments depend on the specication of a current

eld with which the waves then interact. This implies that, in a realistic setting, one would need to run a circulation model to provide

the current and then run the Boussinesq model with circulation

model results provided as input. The Boussinesq model results

could, in principle, be used to develop wave forcing for the circulation model, and the two could be run in a fully coupled fashion. The

newly available NHMs, reviewed briey in the next section, largely

eliminate this necessity by providing a unied simulation of the

entire ow eld at resolutions that would be comparable to usual

choices for the Boussinesq model.

Wind Effects on Waves

Douglass (1990) conducted a set of laboratory experiments that

showed offshore- or onshore-directed winds could have a dramatic

effect on the shoaling evolution and location of wave breaking, raising the possibility that models that do not account for these effects

could provide inaccurate predictions of surf zone width and wave

height distribution, leading in turn to lower quality predictions of

nearshore circulation and sediment transport. These conclusions

were supported by further experiments of Feddersen and Veron

(2005), who showed that wind could have a dramatic effect on

wave shape and, by extension, the skewness of the wave orbital velocity. Although this problem has still not been pursued in a comprehensive way, some attempt has been made to add wind effects

(beyond simple application of a spatially uniform surface stress) to

Boussinesq models. Chen et al. (2004) added a modied surface

stress term to the Boussinesq model, which incorporated a dependence on surface slope in the determination of the drag coefcient

CD in a conventional wind stress formulation. The resulting model

was tested against data for wave growth with fetch, and showed

some skill in predicting the change in wave height, but failed to predict concurrent increase in wave period. Liu et al. (2016) introduced

a new source formulation based on a wave-induced pressure perturbation (Jeffreys 1925) instead of wind stress, and further developed

a spectral model to examine the effect of wind on nonlinear triad

interaction and recurrence, but did not provide comparisons with

data for the new model or provide any relative evaluation of the two

formulations or any comparison of effects on local surface geometry. Work in this area is still in its infancy, with much to be done to

arrive at a point in which an understanding of wind effects on the

breaking process is in hand.

Internal Waves

Internal waves, supported by vertical density stratication in the

coastal or upper deep ocean, often fall into a regime in which the

03116005-10

Fig. 5. Normalized phase velocity (model velocity cb divided by the exact phase velocity calculated from the Rayleigh equation, ce) and associated

current proles: (a) 1/7 power law; (b) cubic polynomial (reprinted from Rego et al. 2001, ASCE)

wavelength is long relative to either the overall depth or, in the case

of distinct density layers, to the depth of either the upper or lower

layer. The case in which both layers are shallow is naturally treated

by models developed in the Boussinesq framework, and there are a

number of instances in the literature of idealized treatments using

KdV-type equations in one horizontal dimension (Benjamin 1966),

K-P equations for weakly two-dimensional (2D) problems (Kirby

1988; Pierini 1989), or Boussinesq-type equations for fully 2D

problems (Tomasson and Melville 1992). Extensions to fully nonlinear and higher-order models for waves in two-layer systems continue to be developed as well (Choi and Camassa 1999; Debsarma

et al. 2010). However, implementations of models for general 2D

geometries are relatively rare. One example is that of Lynett and

Liu (2002b), who used a procedure similar to that used in Lynett

and Liu (2004) to eliminate the velocity variable in one layer and

obtain a set of two coupled equations in the interface displacement

and a single momentum ux variable. The model was implemented

and applied to several idealized cases involving shoaling through a

transition from a deeper to a shallower lower layer (in which the

sign of quadratic nonlinear effects changes), and internal wave passage through sudden expansions. Fig. 8 shows an example for an

idealized geometry corresponding to the Strait of Gibraltar, together

with a satellite image of the same location. There is room for continued development of this type of model for internal waves; however,

discretely layered systems are not always an appropriate model for

ocean stratication, and it is likely that future developments would

be more likely to occur in the context of the 3D NHMs, which are

discussed next.

Within the limitations imposed by prescribed and oversimplied

vertical ow structure, BTMs represent a comprehensive approach

for studying wave-driven circulation in the surf zone and nearshore.

BTMs describe the loss of wave energy at large scale due to breaking and cross-shore wave height decay, and they provide details of

this process down to the scale of individual breaking wave crests.

ASCE

processes and mixing (Kim and Lynett 2011), although it is not yet

clear that such extensions are needed once the ow eld is sufciently perturbed (Kirby et al. 2006).

The ability of BTMs to describe the cross-shore decay of wave

height due to breaking has been well established. This section

reviews recent results aimed at describing the large- and ne-scale

structure of surf zone currents arising from a range of forcing

mechanisms.

Surf Zone Currents

Given appropriate boundary conditions and within the limitations

of the depth-averaged ow eld description, Boussinesq models

provide a calculation of the entire ow eld. Yoon and Liu (1989)

rst derived a coupled wave-current system based on Boussinesq

scaling. Equivalent systems of equations can be obtained directly

from a Boussinesq model, but the model must be of a fully nonlinear

type. Comparable derivations, starting from weakly nonlinear models and using a decomposition of velocity into wave and current

components, lead to defective sets of coupled equations, indicating

that the wave-driven mean ows may be of suspect accuracy. There

are, however, no detailed model intercomparisons of weakly nonlinear versus fully nonlinear models and comparison with data that

would substantiate this claim, and it is assumed for now that weakly

nonlinear and fully nonlinear BTMs are equally valid predictors of

surf zone dynamics.

BTMs have been extensively used to study the large-scale structure of surf zone ows. Chen et al. (1999) conducted a study of rip

currents generated by segmented laboratory bars. Chen et al. (2003)

developed an improved representation of modeled vertical vorticity

effects, and applied the model in a study of alongshore currents during the Duck Experiment on Low-Frequency and Incident-Band

Longshore and Across-Shore Hydrodynamics (DELILAH) eld

experiment at Duck, North Carolina. This study revealed the

growth to nite amplitude and breakdown of shear waves and

showed that alongshore pressure gradients can play a signicant

role in the alongshore momentum balance over beaches with

03116005-11

0

Model

Experiment

Currentonly

0.02

0.04

0.08

0.08

depth(m)

0.06

depth(m)

0.06

0.1

b=0.5

0.1

0.12

0.12

0.14

0.14

0.16

0.16

0.18

0.18

0.2

0.2

0.05

0.1

0.15

Timeaveraged horizontal velocity(m/s)

0.05

0.1

0.15

Timeaveraged horizontal velocity(m/s)

0.2

0

Model

Experiment

Currentonly

0.02

0.04

b=0.8

0.04

0.08

0.08

depth(m)

0.06

0.1

0.12

0.14

0.14

0.16

0.16

0.18

0.18

0.05

0.1

0.15

Timeaveraged horizontal velocity(m/s)

0.2

b=1.2

0.1

0.12

Model

Experiment

Currentonly

0.02

0.06

0.2

0.2

depth(m)

0.04

Model

Experiment

Currentonly

0.02

b=0.2

0.2

0.05

0.1

0.15

Timeaveraged horizontal velocity(m/s)

0.2

Fig. 6. (Color) Mean velocity proles of combined waves and currents from experiments of Kemp and Simons (1982); waves on following currents

(reprinted from Coastal Engineering, Vol. 90, Son and Lynett, Interaction of dispersive water waves with weakly sheared currents of arbitrary prole, pp. 6484, Copyright 2014, with permission from Elsevier)

of wave-averaged circulation and model-predicted wave statistics

may be found in Feddersen et al. (2011), Geiman et al. (2011),

Feddersen (2014), and Choi et al. (2015a). BTMs provide an

accurate model of bulk surf zone properties, indicating their

potential suitability for studies of ner scale processes.

Undertow: The Missing Wave Roller

One deciency in early BTMs, recognized during the early development of explicit breaking models, was the absence of a roller

effect and a resulting decit of cross-shore Eulerian mean return

ow, or undertow, under shoreward propagating breaking waves.

This decit was noted by Madsen et al. (1997) and arises because

the usual volume conservation equation, which is capable of correctly describing Stokes drift effects, is not capable of describing

roller volume ux unless details of the roller structure are provided explicitly. This effect is not often incorporated in waveresolving calculations. (A counterexample may be found in Long

2006 in which instantaneous roller volume ux is accounted for

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of this neglect can be seen in Fig. 9, which shows comparisons of

Eulerian mean ow from a BTM in standard form (red dashed

lines) to measured undertow proles (Lynett 2006; Cox et al.

1995). The discrepancy between the two is quite pronounced in

the outer surf zone in which wave height is still large and roller

volumes, which scale with the square of wave height, are largest.

Lynett (2006) developed an enhanced-breaking model, which

provides a vertical structure for the velocity correction associated

with the roller together with expressions for the additional uxes

appearing in the mass and momentum equations. Results for the

case in Fig. 9 are shown as the blue line and show a signicant

improvement in reproducing undertow. The model is not included

in the BTM equations themselves, it is only applied in a postprocessing sense. As a result, modications that could arise in quantities, such as cross-shore bottom stress, as a result of changes in

the near-bed Eulerian velocity eld, are not incorporated. The

problem of properly incorporating roller volume and momentum

uxes and obtaining more correct estimates of Eulerian near-bed

velocities still appears to be largely open.

03116005-12

Fig. 7. (Color) Mean velocity proles of combined waves and currents from experiments of Kemp and Simons (1983); waves on opposing currents

(reprinted from Coastal Engineering, Vol. 90, Son and Lynett, Interaction of dispersive water waves with weakly sheared currents of arbitrary prole, pp. 6484, Copyright 2014, with permission from Elsevier)

Fig. 8. (a) Numerical snapshot of internal wave passing through the Strait of Gibraltar and (b) satellite image of the same location (reprinted

from Wave Motion, Vol. 36, Lynett and Liu, A two-dimensional, depth-integrated model for internal wave propagation over variable bathymetry, pp. 221240, Copyright 2002, with permission from Elsevier)

ASCE

03116005-13

Fig. 9. (Color) Comparison with undertow data of Cox et al. (1995) [Note: Experimental undertow values are shown with dots; breaking-enhanced

Boussinesq results are shown by solid lines; and unmodied Boussinesq results are shown by the dashed-dotted lines (reprinted from Lynett 2006,

with permission)]

Since the work of Peregrine (1998), who studied the impulsive generation of vertical vorticity occurring along a breaking wave crest

with along-crest wave height variation, it has become clear that a

major source for vorticity generation in the wave-driven ocean is

associated with detail at the scale of the wave crests. In the deep

ocean, this additional contribution to forcing is associated with the

pattern of whitecaps on the surface. This contribution can be successfully treated using stochastic representations (Sullivan et al.

2007) because the spatial coverage is uniformly distributed and the

scales of variation of the wind forcing are large relative to the scales

associated with distance between whitecap events. The addition of

this stochastic component of forcing leads to signicant changes in

levels of upper ocean turbulence, transport by Langmuir circulation,

and mixed layer deepening.

In contrast, the nearshore environment is complex in ways that

would likely defy the successful development of a purely stochastic

forcing model. The surf zone scale is small relative to the scale of

the pattern of breaking dissipation. The location and structure of

breaking can be controlled as much by the pattern of inhomogeneities in depth as by the intrinsic short-crestedness in the waves themselves [Fig. 10(a)], which shows an aerial view of breaking events

during an experiment at the United States Army Corps of Engineers

Field Research Facility at Duck, North Carolina. Clark et al. (2012)

have performed a detailed study of vorticity generation at the scale

of breaking wave crests, verifying that the predictions of Peregrine

(1998) are correct. However, the likelihood of developing a simple

stochastic extension to the smoother wave forcing elds that

are characteristic of wave-averaged models seems remote given the

inevitable interplay between the intrinsic short-crestedness of the

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underlying bathymetry. The wave-resolving nature of the BTM is

thus crucial for the specication of this variability and the localization of vorticity forcing.

A number of studies have used BTMs to examine small-scale

forcing and resulting ow eld turbulence and mixing effects. In

a pioneering study, Johnson and Pattiaratchi (2006) simulated

directional random waves incident on a plane beach. They

clearly demonstrated the presence of vorticity generation during

the passage of breaking wave crests, and they further demonstrated the tendency for ne-scale vorticity, accumulated in the

nearshore, to organize into larger scale structures and nally to transient rip currents (Fig. 11). Similar numerical experiments were performed by Spydell and Feddersen (2009), who concentrated on the

evaluation of Lagrangian particle statistics and the estimation of surf

zone diffusivity. Feddersen et al. (2011) and Clark et al. (2011)

extended the comparison of BTM results and eld observations to

the case of obliquely incident waves to obtain estimates of both

cross-shore and alongshore diffusivities. Feddersen (2014) and Choi

et al. (2015a) examined strong alongshore ows observed during the

SandyDuck experiment in 1997. Feddersen (2014) compared results

of a BTM model with resolved short-scale forcing and a waveaveraged circulation model forced smoothly by radiation stress

gradients derived from the incident wave conditions. Both studies

showed the presence of a strongly energetic ow eld in frequency/alongshore wave-number space lying along a line that represents the local mean alongshore current velocity, representing

the alongshore transport of eddy structures by the mean current

(Figs. 12 and 13). Feddersen (2014) showed that the smoothly

forced model did not generate a comparably energetic ow eld.

03116005-14

and particle trajectories generally trapped in rip recirculation cells.

Results for this case indicate that apparent diffusivity is basically

the same for the wave-averaged and wave-resolving models, with

both in general agreement with eld observations.

Clearly, there is something going on here that is very different

from the case of waves incident on a featureless beach in which the

spatial scale associated with the short-crestedness of waves is the

only scale imposed on the problem. For rip channels, the channels

appear to provide the dominant scale, with differences between

smooth and irregular wave forcing lost in the noise. These results are

distinct and point to some possibly interesting middle ground in

which controlling scales supplied by different mechanisms are comparable in importance and are able to interact in a more balanced

way, with an unforeseeable outcome. BTM models are perfectly

adequate for this type of study and are likely to remain a valuable

tool for studying wave-driven surf zone ows in the near future.

Fig. 10. (Color) (a) Photograph of breaking waves (propagating toward the shore from lower right to upper left) showing the triangular

patches of residual white foam marking the location in which breaking

occurred; (b) schematics (looking down from above) of negative and

positive vorticity generated by left-handed and right-handed ends of

breaking waves and possible variations in positioning of breaker termination relative to sensing array (dark circles) (reprinted from Clark

et al. 2012, with permission)

All of these studies, in which waves are propagating and breaking over fairly featureless bathymetry, show ow complexity and

mixing processes in wave-resolved calculations that are consistent

with observations and much stronger than predicted by waveaveraged models. [Indeed, in the case of normally incident waves

(Johnson and Pattiaratchi 2006; Spydell and Feddersen 2009), a

wave-averaged model would simply predict setup with no resulting

mean ow.] Geiman et al. (2011) performed a similar model/

model/data comparison for waves incident over a complex beach

incised by rip channels located reasonably regularly in the alongshore direction. For each model [FUNWAVE as the BTM model

and Delft3D (Lesser et al. 2004) as the wave-averaged model],

Lagrangian particle trajectories were computed using modelgenerated ow elds and then used to compute particle separation

statistics, which is a precursor to deriving diffusion estimates.

Model-generated statistics were compared with each other and to

similar statistics derived from drifter trajectories in the eld. Fig.

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In recent years, Boussinesq models have come into play as a frequently used component in the process of modeling tsunamis. The

choice of BTMs over NLSWE models for modeling tsunamis has

been somewhat controversial, because the problem is thought by

many to be essentially nondispersive and thus not requiring the

input of the more expensive BTMs. Initially, the use of BTMs was

often a matter of preference, with investigators who were involved

in developing or using BTMs for surface wave applications choosing to use the models in tsunami applications. Subsequent work has

revealed a number of areas in which the capabilities of BTMs relative to NLSWEs come into play in possibly signicant ways.

Tsunami hydrodynamic modeling may be thought of as being divided into three categories: generation due to ground motion, propagation over local to ocean basin scales, and shoreline inundation. These

aspects of the problem may be treated separately in separate model

runs, or comprehensively in a unied, nested treatment, depending on

the choice of model and preferences of the investigator.

Tsunami Generation

Dynamic tsunami generation using BTMs has largely been limited

to modeling the response to an imposed time-dependent ground

motion. Both seismic subduction zone events and smaller scale submarine mass failures (SMFs) have been simulated this way. Lynett

and Liu (2002a) described a study of SMF tsunami generation in

one dimension, using a Boussinesq model extended to account for

time-dependent bottom motion. A BIEM model was used to provide

a reference solution for evaluation of the Boussinesq model, and the

Boussinesq model was seen to differ from the full solution, particularly in details of the maximum drawdown above the moving slide.

Lynett and Liu (2005) extended the modeling to two horizontal

dimensions and studied the generation of edge waves resulting from

slides occurring on planar slopes.

Zhou and Teng (2010) extended the O (m 4) model of Gobbi and

Kirby (1999) to two horizontal dimensions and incorporated a moving

bottom. They performed 1D laboratory experiments for wave generation by a sliding solid wedge and measured waveforms as well as velocity proles on vertical transects. Model-data comparison showed

that there was not much difference between the O ( m 4) model results

and results computed using the equations of Lynett and Liu (2002a),

with the difference between model results being smaller than the differences between either model and their measurements. The O ( m 4)

model provided consistently better estimates of the velocity eld,

03116005-15

Fig. 11. (Color) Generation of local vorticity patches at ends of breaking wave crests (reprinted from Johnson and Pattiaratchi 2006, with permission)

Fig. 12. Horizontal distributions of vorticity uctuations for two peak wave periodaveraged velocity at (a) t = 30 Tp, (b) t = 410 Tp, (c) t = 420 Tp,

and (d) t = 430 Tp in the present simulation of the SandyDuck experiment (reprinted from Choi et al. 2015a, with permission)

the ow structure preserved in the higher-order models formulation.

Fuhrman and Madsen (2009) used the higher-order Boussinesq

model (Madsen et al. 2002, 2003) extended to retain higher-order

bottom slope effects (Madsen et al. 2006) and incorporate bottom

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repeated the cases studied by Lynett and Liu (2002a) to compare

results with the BIEM results from the earlier study. Comparisons

with the BIEM were greatly improved and indicate the higher-order

models apparent approach to convergence to a complete solution.

03116005-16

Fig. 13. Wave number-frequency spectra obtained using measurements of (a) cross-shore and (b) longshore velocity and the computations of (c)

cross-shore and (d) longshore velocity for the longshore array at x = 160 m and y = 704,906 m [Note: The logarithmic gray scale indicates energy density; the bold lines denote mode-0 edge waves propagating upcoast and downcoast with a small wavenumber offset (0.0015 m1) (reprinted from Choi

et al. 2015a, with permission)]

appeared in the literature (Geist et al. 2009; Parsons et al. 2014) but

have usually used fairly idealized approaches to specifying bottom

motion. The greatest strides remaining to be made in this area will

result from full coupling of the hydrodynamic models (in either

BTM or NHM form) to more complete models for slide dynamics,

including initiation of motion, slide deformation, and cessation of

motion (Kirby et al. 2016).

Propagation Modeling

Along with the usual impact of bottom friction damping for progressive long waves, tsunamis propagating at ocean basin scale are

weakly affected by a number of processes including nonlinearity,

frequency dispersion, Coriolis effects, and compressibility/deformability of the water column and underlying earth crust. All of these

effects are very weak in a classical scaling sense, but can accumulate to recognizable amounts given the long propagation distances

that are possible for transoceanic events. In addition, locally generated tsunamis resulting from landslides and other geotechnical failures are much shorter in period and can exhibit distinctly dispersive

effects over moderate distances.

The use of BTMs for ocean basinscale propagation problems is

still relatively uncommon. A body of evidence indicating the importance of dispersion for tsunami propagation has only been recently

developed and is often based on comparison of model predictions

within the same model with dispersive effects either included or

neglected. This sort of comparison presupposes the existence of the

dispersive model in the rst place; thus, it is reasonable to review

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from their application.

Dispersive tsunami models in common use include Boussinesq

models in standard form with higher-order derivatives expressed

and depth-integrated models with nonhydrostatic pressure identied and determined outside of the horizontal momentum equations.

In addition, the tsunami community has long used a strategy of controlling model dispersion through manipulation of model truncation

errors.

Boussinesq models were initially brought into the arena of tsunami propagation from their previous use as short wave models for

wind-generated surface waves. The models were thus typically in

Cartesian coordinate formulations, and could be applied directly to

problems over moderate distances, corresponding to the type of distances in which Universal Transverse Mercator (UTM) projections

of position would not become dramatically in error compared with

the correct geographical coordinates. Examples of applications of

the original version of FUNWAVE (Kennedy et al. 2000; Chen

et al. 2000) include studies of source mechanisms and initial propagation (Grilli et al. 2007) as well as subsequent inundation of the

coast of Thailand (Ioualalen et al. 2007) during the December 2004

Indian Ocean tsunami. Tsunami events were simulated using a

quasi-time-dependent source approach, in which the ground motion

is divided into segments, with each segment being introduced as a

static displacement using the formulation of Okada (1985) but

lagged in time to represent the progression of fault slip along the

trench axis. Zhou and Teng (2010) further extended the Cartesian

Boussinesq approach by developing a 2D version of the original O

( m 4) model of Gobbi et al. (2000). Alternately, Yamazaki et al.

(2009) developed a so-called depth-integrated nonhydrostatic

03116005-17

Fig. 14. (Color) (a) Low-pass eld drifter trajectories, displayed according to their release locations (red dots) at 1, 2, and 3, respectively; (b) absolute

dispersion A2(t) for particles seeded inside the surf zone at the same locations in the two models, with eld observations (thick black line), Boussinesq

u (black line), Boussinesq u corrected for wave drift (blue line), and Delft3D u corrected for wave drift (red line) (reprinted from Geiman et al. 2011,

with permission)

terms of a simple, linear-overdepth model for w.

For larger propagation distances, accurate simulations depended

on the development of models in geographical coordinates tted to

the Earths surface. These models can be derived from the full 3D

models in spherical coordinates (see, for example, Section 6.2 in

Pedlosky 1979) using the same nondimensionalization in terms of

depth and wavelength. Resulting formulations in classical

Boussinesq form are described in Pedersen and Lovholt (2008),

Lovholt et al. (2008), Kirby et al. (2013), and Zhou et al. (2011). An

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the Rossby number characterizing the importance of Coriolis

effects. Kirby et al. (2013) found that Coriolis effects scale with the

dimensionless parameter e = m , where e h0 =r0 or ocean depth/

earth radius. For cases in which dispersion is strong enough to be

apparent in the scaling, Coriolis effects should inversely become

vanishingly small, indicating that including them in the model formulation represents retention of an inconsistently small effect. The

choice of retaining or deleting the effect is relatively inconsequential, however, for waves with periods in the tsunami range. Finally,

03116005-18

(a)

(b)

(c)

(d)

(e)

(f)

(g)

(h)

Fig. 15. (Color) Simulations of the 2011 Tohoku-oki tsunami: comparison between measured surface elevations at DART buoys (black lines) and full model

simulations; the buoy numbers and lead-in model arrival times are (a) 21418, 0 min, (b) 51407, 5 min, (c) 46404, 6 min, and (d) 32411, 10 min; (e)(h)

modeled surface elevations at DART buoys [times are as indicated in panels (a)(d), respectively] [Note: Model results are offset by the indicated shift

to facilitate waveform comparisons; modeled surface elevations at DART buoys; full model (blue lines), no dispersion (red lines), no Coriolis (blue

dashed lines), and no dispersion/Coriolis (green dashed lines) (reprinted from Ocean Modelling, Vol. 62, Kirby et al., Dispersive tsunami waves in the

ocean: Model equations and sensitivity to dispersion and Coriolis effects, pp. 3955, Copyright 2013, with permission from Elsevier)]

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03116005-19

propagate across the ocean at speeds that are slightly slower than predicted by shallow water theory or Boussinesq theory. This effect was

illustrated in Fig. 15, which reports a progressive increase in observed

lag between Boussinesq model results and measured data with distance from the tsunami source. This indication of an additional phase

speed decrease relative to the Boussinesq results has been traced by

several authors (Allgeyer and Cummins 2014; Tsai et al. 2013) to the

combined effects of water compressibility and earth elasticity. Wang

(2015) has developed a model correction that adjusts still-water depth

slightly to account for these effects, but the effects can and should be

accounted for directly in the model physics.

Run-Up and Inundation

for the Tohoku-oki tsunami for (a) simulations with and without dispersion and (b) simulations with and without Coriolis (reprinted from Ocean

Modelling, Vol. 62, Kirby et al., Dispersive tsunami waves in the ocean:

Model equations and sensitivity to dispersion and Coriolis effects, pp.

3955, Copyright 2013, with permission from Elsevier)

Yamazaki et al. (2011) and Horrillo et al. (2012) developed a geographical coordinate version of the depth-integrated NHM of

Yamazaki et al. (2009).

Investigations of tsunami propagation conducted using each of

these models has indicated that frequency dispersion effects can

accumulate to a sufcient degree to shift spatial wave patterns and

alter conclusions on the spatial distribution of maximum wave

heights and resulting inundation effects. Kirby et al. (2013) investigated the effects of leaving dispersion and Coriolis force out of simulations of the 2011 Tohoku-oki tsunami. Fig. 15 shows a comparison of full model results to measured response at four DART buoy

locations, and a comparison of full model results to nondispersive

results and results with no Coriolis force, indicating model accuracy

as well as the relative unimportance of Coriolis effects. This conclusion is further borne out in Fig. 16, which shows a synoptic plot of

relative error for the two cases over the entire Pacic basin.

Signicant differences in wave height patterns between BTMs or

NHMs and nondispersive shallow water models have also been

demonstrated by Horrillo et al. (2012) and Zhou et al. (2014) for the

2011 Tohoku-oki event and Zhou et al. (2012) for the 2009

American Samoa event. Glimsdal et al. (2013) derived a parameter

t referred to as the dispersion time, which provides an indication of

whether dispersion is expected to be important in an event.

Recent comparisons between highly resolved tsunami propagation

models and measured data have further shown that tsunamis

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events depends on correct treatment of moving shorelines and conservation of volume during run-up and rundown. This has long been

a difcult topic for depth-integrated models, with most shoreline

treatments in nite-difference codes having evolved to serve practical goals rather than as a consequence of mathematical structure of

the model itself. An early method that was widely used was the socalled slot method, in which the bed within a grid cell is replaced

by a bed with a narrow, deep slot or channel excavated in the grid

cell and oriented in a cross-shore direction (Madsen et al. 1997;

Kennedy et al. 2000; Chen et al. 2000). The channel bottom elevation is chosen such that it is deep enough to always be below the

water surface elevation during maximum rundown. With slots

placed in all initially dry grid cells, the entire computational domain

remains wet, at least at the subgrid level of the slots; thus, the problem of determining the shoreline location as a wet/dry boundary is

irrelevant. Spatially integrating over the slots, which are effectively

resolved bathymetry at subgrid resolution, provides the needed

feedback to the governing equations at larger scale. The slot geometry and accompanying modication to bed elevation outside the slots

could be carefully chosen to provide the same cross-sectional area to

an approaching wave and thus conserve mass without a change in

water surface elevation. However, the approach, as implemented in

the centered nite-difference scheme of FUNWAVE (Kennedy

et al. 2000; Chen et al. 2000), was noisy, and end-user versions of

the code often had slots widened to a degree that interfered with the

processes of shoaling and breaking.

An alternate approach, also based on an ad hoc treatment, was

proposed by Lynett et al. (2002). In this approach, the shoreline is

identied by extrapolating landward from water elevations at the

shallowest wet grid points using a linear t. The apparent intersection of the extrapolated surface with a reconstruction of the bed

within the dry grid cell closest to shore would determine whether

the cell in question would become wet or stay dry, with the process

reversed during rundown. The approach as developed worked in a

stable fashion but led to mass conservation problems.

The shift to the use of nite-volume schemes, which came to

dominate the Boussinesq world in the rst decade of this century,

largely solved the shoreline wetting-drying and inundation problem. The Godunov-style schemes used now in most codes use an

approximate solution of the Riemann problem to reconstruct velocities at cell boundaries. The information carried by the Riemann

variables in these solutions is sufcient to describe the motion of a

run-up tip completely in the context of the solution of the NLSWEs

by the method of characteristics. The strength of this approach has

led to extremely robust shallow water models for the description of

events such as ood waves in rivers or ooding events resulting

from dam breaks (George 2011). This modeling technology has basically been carried over into Boussinesq models as a happy byproduct of selection of the nite-volume schemes. The robustness

03116005-20

Fig. 17. Sequence of snapshots of the solitary wave run-up event: (a) t = 6.4 s; (b) t = 8.4 s; (c) t = 14.4 s [Note: Experimental conguration of Lynett et al.

(2010b); model results were computed using FUNWAVE-TVD (reprinted from Ocean Modelling, Vol. 43, Shi et al., A high-order adaptive time-stepping

TVD solver for Boussinesq modeling of breaking waves and coastal inundation, pp. 3651, Copyright 2012, with permission from Elsevier)]

code as FUNWAVE-TVD (Shi et al. 2012), when it had been

shown that the original FUNWAVE code had failed in a test of runup and rundown in comparison to data provided by the experiment

of Lynett et al. (2010b), in which a solitary wave runs up over a

complex topography consisting of an elevated mound located at the

promontory of a V-shaped coastal bathymetry. Run-up over this bathymetry is illustrated in Fig. 17.

Inundation modeling and mapping for tsunami hazard assessment is often performed using bare earth digital elevation models

(DEMs) at 10 to 30-m horizontal resolution (Grilli et al. 2015).

The capabilities of either BTM or NLSWE models extend far

beyond this level of capability, however, it is, in principle, possible now to compute inundation events at resolutions that would

allow the study of loading, scour, and potential collapse of individual structures. Park et al. (2013) described a detailed laboratory and numerical study of tsunami inundation through a model

of a built environment, based on the coastal city of Seaside,

Oregon. Fig. 18 shows the instrument layout in the model and the

built infrastructures location in the laboratory facility. Fig. 19

shows a comparison of measured ow depth, velocity, and derived

momentum ux Hu2 with numerical results obtained using

FUNWAVE-TVD. Existing models are capable of providing highquality predictions of ow patterns in complex environments and

should greatly aid in developing more nuanced hazard assessments

for use by emergency management agencies.

ASCE

The development of higher-order Boussinesq models and their

extension to cover a more complete set of physics leads to a rapid

increase in model complexity, as evidenced by the rst simple

extension from O ( m 2) to O ( m 4) models for ideal uids (Gobbi

et al. 2000). In addition, the vertical structure of physical effects

such as boundary-layer turbulence or the prole of transported scalars may not be simple to parameterize in regions of more rapidly

varied ow, which poses a possible limit to the potential accuracy

of depth-integrated equations. As a result, there has been a great

deal of recent interest in the development of a new category of freesurface models that retain the relative efciency of depth-integrated

solvers as well as providing access to a fully 3D determination of

ow characteristics when needed. The 3D modeling can take on a

wide range of meanings, with the high-resolution extreme involving

detailed modeling of turbulent ows and complex water surfaces

using volume of uid (VOF) or level set models on xed grids,

meshless Lagrangian particle methods such as smooth particle

hydrodynamics (SPH), or a range of other modern candidates. At

the opposite extreme, there is an increasing desire to allow for arbitrary vertical ow structure and large vertical acceleration effects

but without the need to obtain or use horizontally varying spatial information at scales that are any ner than already provided by the

Boussinesq model being replaced. This latter class of model has

come to be referred to as the NHM.

03116005-21

Fig. 18. (Color) Modeled coastal community in Seaside, Oregon, with instrument locations: (a) layout of wave basin; (b) close-up of instrument layout in modeled area (reprinted from Park et al. 2013, with permission)

proceeding rapidly and is deserving of its own review, and only a

few main points are touched on here. Work in this direction was initiated mainly by Casulli and Stelling (1998) and Casulli (1999), with

subsequent contributions from a number of research groups (Stelling

and Zijlema 2003; Yuan and Wu 2004; Bradford 2005; Young et al.

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2007; Zijlema and Stelling 2008; Bradford 2011). At least two readily accessible open source models have been developed: SWASH

(Zijlema et al. 2011) and NHWAVE (Ma et al. 2012).

An alternate approach to the general Navier-Stokes-like solution

strategy used in most NHMs is proposed in Antuono and Brocchini

(2013), in which the continuity and horizontal momentum equations

03116005-22

Flow Depth

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Fig. 19. (Color) FUNWAVE-TVD results for ow depth, velocity, and momentum ux at measurement location A1 (data from Park et al. 2013)

are integrated over depth, whereas information about the nonhydrostatic component of the pressure eld leads to a Poissons equation

for vertical velocity w, which is then solved to obtain the 3D ow

eld for use in the integrated 2D continuity and momentum equations. The proposed method has not been implemented numerically

to date but is potentially more efcient than the direct approach to

the 3D problem used to date.

Nonhydrostatic modeling provides a robust means for computing a wide range of phenomena in the coastal ocean. The models

gain their efciency from a combination of several factors. First, the

acceptance of the idea that the surface will not be reproduced at

higher resolution than used in Boussinesq models leads to the adoption of a locally smooth, single-valued representation. This allows

the mass conservation equation to be integrated over depth to specify the surface location in terms of the divergence of volume ux, as

in Eq. (22). The approach differs from Boussinesq theory, however,

in retaining the 3D momentum equations. These are typically

solved using a split-step algorithm, as in other treatments of NavierStokes equations; in the present case, it is convenient to take the rst

step to represent solution of the hydrostatic problem, after which a

Poisson problem for the nonhydrostatic pressure correction is

solved, followed by a second step, which updates the velocity eld

in response to the nonhydrostatic pressure correction. Several additional details that can help (and are not universally adopted) include

mapping the vertical coordinate onto a xed strip using a s coordinate transformation (xing the location of both bottom and surface

in the computational grid), and using a Keller-type variable stencil

with pressure specied at the upper face of grid cells, placing the

specication of the surface pressure boundary condition exactly at

the surface position. The resulting equations are usually solved

robustly using the same approaches that work for 2D NLSWE or

Boussinesq models. For the case of surface wave propagation in

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agreement with experimental results using as few as three or four

discretization levels in the vertical (Ma et al. 2012). The most timeconsuming aspect of the numerics is the solution of Poissons

equation, which makes the model more expensive to run than

Boussinesq-type models, even in the ideal uid case. However, available Poisson solvers (such as HYPRE , which is used in NHWAVE)

are highly developed and scale well in multiprocessor, distributed

memory environments. As a result, the numerical development of

this class of model, which lacks the higher derivative terms common

to all Boussinesq models, is actually simpler and more transparent

than the Boussinesq approach. The models are easily extended to

incorporate additional physical effects by the addition of scalar transport equations and adjustment of surface and body force expressions.

NHWAVE has been extended to account for suspended sediment

load (Ma et al. 2014), interaction with a submerged plant canopy

(Ma et al. 2013b), and landslide tsunami generation by dispersed

gravity ows (Ma et al. 2013a) and layer-averaged granular debris

ows (Ma et al. 2015), among others. For the case of motions with

baroclinic effects in the form of density stratication, or signicant

vertical variations in obstacles such as plant canopies, it is usually

more desirable to retain a greater degree of vertical resolution to

obtain an accurate description of the velocity eld. However, a comparable increase in resolution in the solution of the pressure eld can

impose an excessive computational burden. Strategies have been

developed in which the nonhydrostatic component of the pressure

eld is solved for on a grid with much lower vertical resolution and

then interpolated back to ner resolution for use in the momentum

equations (van Reeuwijk 2002; Shi et al. 2015). Fig. 20 shows an

example of a baroclinic lock exchange problem in which interfacial

shear, developed as heavier water ows under lighter water, leads to

large Kelvin-Helmholtz billows. Four cases are shown, with Fig.

03116005-23

Fig. 20. (Color) Nonhydrostatic simulations of the lock exchange problem with (a) velocity and pressure solved at 20 vertical levels, (b) velocity and

pressure solved at 200 and 20 levels, respectively, (c) velocity and pressure each solved at 200 vertical levels, and (d) the hydrostatic case (reprinted

from Ocean Modelling, Vol. 96, Shi et al., Pressure Decimation and Interpolation (PDI) method for a baroclinic non-hydrostatic model, pp. 265

279, Copyright 2015, with permission from Elsevier)

both the velocity and pressure elds. In contrast, Fig. 20(a) shows

the failure of the calculation for the same initial conditions using 20

vertical levels for both velocity and pressure. The intermediate panel

[Fig. 20(b)] shows the effect of the decimation and interpolation

strategy in NHWAVE, with the pressure eld being solved on 20

vertical levels and the velocity eld being solved on 200, yielding

accurate results. Given that most of the computational burden resides

in the pressure solution, the additional overhead in going from 20 to

200 levels in the velocity calculation is actually fairly minimal (Shi

et al. 2015). Strategies involving decimation of the nonhydrostatic

pressure solution are thus very promising, but there needs to be further effort to develop an understanding of when the strategy is

expected to work and what level of decimation is allowable.

Wave breaking in NHMs may occur naturally as a consequence

of the combined physics and numerics, with different conclusions

being reached by different groups. Smit et al. (2013) described the

need to introduce the hybrid effect of turning off nonhydrostatic

corrections to achieve accurate breaking in SWASH, unless vertical

grid resolution is increased signicantly, whereas Ma et al. (2012)

and, more recently, Derakhti et al. (M. Derakhti, J. T. Kirby, F. Shi,

and G. Ma, Wave breaking in the surf zone and deep water in a

non-hydrostatic RANS model. Part 1: Organized wave motions

and Wave breaking in the surf zone and deep water in a nonhydrostatic RANS model. Part 2: Turbulence and mean circulation, submitted, Ocean Modelling, Amsterdam, Netherlands)

show that NHWAVEs handling of breaking does not require either an increase of resolution or adoption of a hybrid model strategy. The fact that different models show variations in behavior in

the breaking process indicates that there is still an incomplete

understanding of the interaction between physics and numerics in

the neighborhood of rapid ow changes in the different models.

For models that use Godunov-type nite-volume schemes, for

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near rapid ow changes as a component of the total dissipation is

signicant and can even be dominant. A potential approach to this

problem is identied next as future work.

Future Avenues

The growing importance of the class of NHMs is a given, and it is clear

that this approach will take precedence in a number of coastal modeling

areas as access to larger multiprocessor environments becomes more

prevalent. However, Boussinesq modeling, taken to represent the general class of 2D depth-integrated modeling strategies, should remain a

preferred method in practice for any type of ow for which a simplied

model of vertical ow structure is useful and adequate. The following

are several areas in which developments are likely in the near future.

(This list is by no means exclusive or complete.)

Treatment of the Nonhydrostatic Pressure Correction

As pointed out by Castro-Orgaz et al. (2015) and discussed earlier,

there is a great deal of correspondence between typical Boussinesq

formulations in which nonhydrostatic pressure corrections are

expressed in terms of derivatives of the horizontal velocity eld and

models in which the localization of the correction is maintained in

the horizontal momentum equations and then resolved as a separate

step, as in the work of Yamazaki et al. (2009) on water waves or

treatments of landslide motions over steeper slopes, such as

Denlinger and Iverson (2004). The second choice has computational advantages because it does not stray outside the scope of

well-developed treatments for the hydrostatic NLSWEs, whereas

the rst choice introduces higher-order derivatives in the formulation and requires the use of additional diagonal matrix solvers. The

schemes that have been developed for the rst choice have also

03116005-24

clear whether one choice or the other is generally better for conventional numerical approaches. This topic should see some rapid evolution over in the future.

UnitBased Schemes

The potential for signicant reduction in model execution time

provided by graphical processing unit (GPU) hardware automatically leads to what will certainly be an avenue for rapid development in numerical approaches. Recent generations of general purpose GPU (GPGPU) processors now provide architectures with

enough memory and word length to handle complex scientic

computations accurately. Successful implementations of solvers

for the NLSWEs on GPUs are now numerous and range from the

application of conventional nite-volume schemes (starting with

Kuo et al. 2011) to lattice Boltzmann (LBM) schemes, which

have also become well developed in this application (Zhou 2003).

Janen et al. (2012) showed a recent example of a LBM solution

of the NLSWEs for wave run-up on complex bathymetry. The

methods developed include the provision for implementing bottom stress terms and other effects as applied body forces. This

provision could accommodate a second-order pressure correction

as discussed previously, giving a pathway to performing

Boussinesq/LBM calculations in the highly efcient GPGPU

computational framework.

Mixtures and Transport

The generalization of the Boussinesq model to incorporate turbulent

mixing and transport (Kim and Lynett 2011, 2013; Son and Lynett

2014b) will certainly be extended to incorporate a suspended sediment load as part of the mixture formulation in the near future. A

recent example is the work of Kim (2015). Given the long timescale

for coastal storms relative to individual wave periods, the problem

of estimating regional morphology change in response to a hurricane or similar event will remain numerically challenging for some

time. However, the shorter duration of tsunami events relative to

individual wave periods within the event makes the computation of

coastal response to a tsunami a realistic prospect (Tehranirad et al.

2015). This approach should be further extended to incorporate stochastic representations of larger debris elements. Resulting models

could be quite useful in the application of modeling tsunami inundation in which entrained debris from already destroyed infrastructure

would, in turn, lead to a potentially more accurate calculation of

subsequent loading on unfailed structures resulting from the mixture of uid and suspended solid elements.

Wave Breaking

Treatment of wave breaking is possibly still one of the more ad hoc

aspects of Boussinesq or NHM development. A variety of problems

remain. First, there is still very little concrete information available

on the interplay between physical and numerical dissipation in the

determination of energy ux decay rates. In particular, for the case

of 3D NHMs, the overall formulation does not provide a constraint

on the amount of energy lost across a breaking front, as it does in

mass and momentum-conserving, depth-integrated shallow ows.

The role of truncation errors in differencing schemes, as well as the

choice of limiters used in reconstructing uxes, in determining a

numerically imposed dissipation rate, is poorly understood, and the

problem needs considerably more study.

ASCE

information on the details of stress at the water surface or structure

of the turbulent roller region, or established front face, of a breaking

wave. These errors lead to difculties in obtaining accurate descriptions of mean ows and turbulence levels, which, again, are often

handled by ad hoc treatments. The assumption that the water surface

captured in a Boussinesq or NHM is essentially a locally smooth,

single-valued function of horizontal position implies the a priori use

of an averaging lter to remove unresolved detail in both surface geometry and turbulence in the intermittent air-water region. This

averaging process is basically never addressed in the historical development of either model framework. Brocchini and Peregrine

(2001) and Brocchini (2002) have addressed this question and have

shown how the averaging process can lead to the imposition of a

surface stress at the averaged (or smoothed) surface location as well

as providing a boundary condition on the level of turbulent kinetic

energy. The use of these turbulent boundary conditions, resulting

from averaging over unresolved scales, could greatly improve the

understanding of physical versus numerical dissipation in this class

of models, and, indeed, could move a great deal of the apparent dissipation back into the physical realm, but the conditions are difcult

to apply in practice and have not often been used. It is important

that this aspect of the problem be tackled for both the 2D and 3D

models considered here.

Conclusions

Boussinesq models represent a highly evolved means for computing

free-surface ows in cases in which motion is dominated by the

external, or barotropic, gravity forcing, and in which the vertical

distribution of internal ow properties can be readily parameterized

for the purposes of integrating over depth. In such cases,

Boussinesq or Boussinesq-type models represent an indispensable

tool for the calculation of waves and wave-driven processes ranging

in scale from short wind waves in the nearshore to ocean basin

scale propagation of tsunamis. The framework is presently being

extended to cover a range of problems that have previously been

generally treated by models in the long wave limit, such as granular

debris ows (Denlinger and Iverson 2004; Castro-Orgaz et al.

2015) and other versions of complex natural ow phenomena.

In cases in which ow elds depend on baroclinic response, or

in which vertical distributions of either transported material or

applied body forces (such as vertically varying plant canopy density) are strongly spatially variable and thus not easily parameterized for vertical integration, it is not clear that there is an avenue forward for the Boussinesq approach. Given the availability of general

3D NHM formulations such as NHWAVE (Ma et al. 2012) and

SWASH (Zijlema et al. 2011), it seems more logical to use a modeling framework that allows one to replicate the spatial complexity of

the domain from the outset. This choice will certainly not be dominant in the near future, because the relative efciency of Boussinesq

models in comparison to fully 3D codes will still be a deciding factor for model choice for applications that are adequately described

by the depth-integrated model framework.

Acknowledgments

The author thanks the Ofce of Naval Research, the Army

Research Ofce, the National Science Foundation, and the

Delaware Sea Grant Program for their support of his efforts in this

area over the years. The work discussed here includes the efforts

of a number of present and former students, postdocs, and

03116005-25

thanks to all for providing an exciting and productive environment

over the years. Present work on FUNWAVE-TVD and NHWAVE

is funded by National Science Foundation grants OCE-1334325,

OCE-1435147, and CMMI-1537232 and the National Tsunami

Hazard Mitigation Program.

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