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Breaking of highly energetic waves

Project description

Understanding how breaking waves dissipate energy

Waves can break both in open seas and when they reach a shallow coastline. Why do waves break and how do they dissipate energy? To find the answers, the EU-funded HIGHWAVE project will build on international developments in the field of wave-breaking and wave run-up. These provided the first universal criterion for predicting the onset of breaking of water waves in uniform water depths from deep to intermediate. The project will help develop more accurate operational wave models. In turn, these will help to improve sea state forecasting and evaluating marine structures and seabed response to extreme waves, and also contribute to optimising operational strategies for maritime and marine renewable energy enterprises.

Objective

HIGHWAVE is an interdisciplinary project at the frontiers of coastal/ocean engineering, earth system science, statistics and fluid mechanics that will explore fundamental open questions in wave breaking. Why do waves break, how do they dissipate energy and why is this important? A central element of the work builds on recent international developments in the field of wave breaking and wave run-up led by the PI that have provided the first universal criterion for predicting the onset of breaking of water waves in uniform water depths from deep to intermediate. This work has also shown that the run-up of nonlinear waves impinging on a vertical wall can exceed up to 12 times the far-field amplitude of the incoming waves. These results have now opened up the possibility for more accurate operational wave models. They have practical and economic benefits in determining structural loads on ships and coastal/offshore infrastructure, evaluating seabed response to extreme waves, and optimizing operational strategies for maritime and marine renewable energy enterprises. This is a tremendous advance comparable to the introduction of wave prediction during World War II, and the PI aims to be at the forefront of this research effort to take research in wave breaking into fundamentally new directions. The objectives of the project are: (i) to develop an innovative approach to include accurate wave breaking physics into coupled sea state and ocean weather forecasting models; (ii) to obtain improved criteria for the design of ships and coastal/offshore infrastructure; (iii) to quantify erosion by powerful breaking waves, and (iv) to develop new concepts in wave measurement with improved characterization of wave breaking using real-time instrumentation. This highly interdisciplinary project will involve an ambitious and unconventional combination of computational simulation/theory, laboratory experiments, and field measurements of sea waves, closely informed by application needs.

Host institution

ECOLE NORMALE SUPERIEURE PARIS-SACLAY
Net EU contribution
€ 1 037 130,00
Address
4 AVENUE DES SCIENCES
91190 Gif-Sur-Yvette
France

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Region
Ile-de-France Ile-de-France Essonne
Activity type
Higher or Secondary Education Establishments
Links
Total cost
€ 1 037 130,00

Beneficiaries (2)