25 Apr 2024
 | 25 Apr 2024
Status: this preprint is open for discussion.

A robust numerical method for the generation and simulation of periodic finite-amplitude internal waves in natural waters

Pierre Lloret, Peter J. Diamessis, Marek Stastna, and Greg N. Thomsen

Abstract. The design and implementation of boundary conditions for the robust generation and simulation of periodic finite-amplitude internal waves is examined in a quasi two-layer continuous stratification using a spectral-element-method-based incompressible flow solver. The commonly-used Eulerian approach develops spurious, and potentially catastrophic, small-scale numerical features near the wave-generating boundary in a nonlinear stratification when the parameter A / (δ c) is sufficiently larger than unity ; A, δ are measures of the maximum wave-induced vertical velocity and pycnocline thickness, respectively, and c is the linear wave propagation speed. To this end, an Euler-Lagrange approach is developed and implemented to generate robust high-amplitude periodic deep-water internal waves. Central to this approach is to take into account the wave-induced (isopycnal) displacement of the pycnocline in both the vertical and (effectively) upstream directions. With amplitudes not restricted by the limits of linear theory, the Euler-Lagrange-generated waves maintain their structural integrity as they propagate away from the source. The advantages of the high-accuracy numerical method, whose minimal numerical dissipation cannot damp the above near-source spurious numerical features of the purely Eulerian case, can still be preserved and leveraged further along the wave propagation path through the robust reproduction of the nonlinear adjustments of the waveform. The near-and-far-source robustness of the optimized Euler-Lagrange approach is demonstrated for finite-amplitude waves in a sharp quasi two-layer continuous stratification representative of seasonally stratified lakes. The findings of this study provide an enabling framework for two-dimensional simulations of internal swash zones driven by well-developed nonlinear internal waves and, ultimately, the accompanying turbulence-resolving three-dimensional simulations.

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Pierre Lloret, Peter J. Diamessis, Marek Stastna, and Greg N. Thomsen

Status: open (until 28 Jun 2024)

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Pierre Lloret, Peter J. Diamessis, Marek Stastna, and Greg N. Thomsen
Pierre Lloret, Peter J. Diamessis, Marek Stastna, and Greg N. Thomsen


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Short summary
This study presents a new approach to simulate large ocean density waves that travel long distances without breaking down. This new approach ensures that these waves are depicted more accurately and realistically in our models. This is particularly useful for understanding wave behavior in lakes with distinct water layers, which can help in predicting natural phenomena and their effects on environments like swash zones, where waves meet the shore.