13 Jun 2024
 | 13 Jun 2024
Status: this preprint is open for discussion.

Turbulent features of nearshore wave-current flow

Massimiliano Marino, Carla Faraci, Bjarne Jensen, and Rosaria Ester Musumeci

Abstract. Waves and currents influence nearly all nearshore physical processes. Their complex interaction gives birth to complex turbulence features that are far from being completely understood. In this regard, previous studies mainly focused on mean flow or inferred turbulent features from averaged velocities, seldom examining turbulent fluctuations. Moreover, the dynamics of wave-current flow have mostly been replicated in experimental channel setups, i.e. overlooking the natural occurrence of waves and long-shore currents intersecting at a near-orthogonal angle. In the present work, the hydrodynamics of near-orthogonal wave-current interaction is investigated through a physical model study. Experiments were carried out in a laboratory basin in the presence of fixed sand and gravel beds, where current only, waves only and combined flow tests were performed. Flow velocities were measured by means of Acoustic Doppler Velocimeters, through which time-, phase-averaged and turbulent velocities were obtained. Results revealed two main features of the wave-current flow. First, we observed that the superposition of waves do not necessarily induces an increase of the current bed shear stresses. Indeed, depending on bed roughness, wave height and current Froude number, both enhancements or reductions of the current bed shear were observed. Moreover, application of quadrant analysis revealed a periodic evolution of the current turbulent bursts. Specifically, the number of current turbulent ejections-sweeps is reduced or increased as the wave phase progresses from antinodes to nodes and from nodes to antinodes, respectively.

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Massimiliano Marino, Carla Faraci, Bjarne Jensen, and Rosaria Ester Musumeci

Status: open (until 08 Aug 2024)

Comment types: AC – author | RC – referee | CC – community | EC – editor | CEC – chief editor | : Report abuse
  • RC1: 'Comment on egusphere-2024-1730', Xuan Zhang, 19 Jun 2024 reply
    • AC1: 'Reply on RC1', Massimiliano Marino, 01 Jul 2024 reply
Massimiliano Marino, Carla Faraci, Bjarne Jensen, and Rosaria Ester Musumeci
Massimiliano Marino, Carla Faraci, Bjarne Jensen, and Rosaria Ester Musumeci


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Short summary
Understanding how waves and currents interact helps to comprehend the physical processes occurring in the coastal environment. In the present work, waves and currents were reproduced in the laboratory and flow velocities were measured. Results showed that the superposition of waves induces a cyclic enhancement/suppression of near-bed turbulence, and depending on current velocity, wave orbital velocity and bed roughness, waves can alter the current velocity following highly nonlinear patterns.