In this work, the performance of a buoyancy-modified turbulence model is shown for simulating wave breaking in a numerical wave flume. Reynolds-Averaged Navier-Stokes (RANS) modelling is performed by applying both a k-ω and a k-ω SST turbulence model using the Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) toolbox OpenFOAM. In previous work of the authors (Devolder et al., 2017), the observed significant decrease in wave height over the length of the numerical wave flume based on RANS turbulence modelling for the case of propagating waves has been avoided by developing a buoyancy-modified k-ω SST model in which (i) the density is explicitly included in the turbulence transport equations and (ii) a buoyancy term is added to the turbulent kinetic energy (TKE) equation. In this paper, two buoyancy-modified turbulence models are applied for the case of wave breaking simulations: k-ω and k-ω SST. Numerical results of wave breaking under regular waves are validated with experimental data measured in a wave flume by Ting and Kirby (1994). The numerical results show a good agreement with the experimental measurements for the surface elevations, undertow profiles of the horizontal velocity and turbulent kinetic energy profiles. Moreover, the underlying motivations for the concept of a buoyancy-modified turbulence model are demonstrated by the numerical results and confirmed by the experimental observations. Firstly, the buoyancy term forces the solution of the flow field near the free water surface to a laminar solution in case of wave propagation. Secondly in the surf zone where waves break, the buoyancy term goes to zero and a fully turbulent solution of the flow field is calculated. Finally and most importantly, the buoyancy-modified turbulence models significantly reduce the common overestimation of TKE in the flow field.
- Buoyancy-modified turbulence model
- Wave breaking
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Environmental Engineering
- Ocean Engineering