Validation of RANS modelling for wave interactions with sea dikes on shallow foreshores using a large-scale experimental dataset

Vincent Gruwez, Corrado Altomare, Tomohiro Suzuki, Maximilian Streicher, Lorenzo Cappietti, Andreas Kortenhaus, Peter Troch

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


In this paper, a Reynolds-averaged Navier-Stokes (RANS) equations solver, interFoam of OpenFOAM®, is validated for wave interactions with a dike, including a promenade and vertical wall, on a shallow foreshore. Such a coastal defence system is comprised of both an impermeable dike and a beach in front of it, forming the shallow foreshore depth at the dike toe. This case necessitates the simulation of several processes simultaneously: wave propagation, wave breaking over the beach slope, and wave interactions with the sea dike, consisting of wave overtopping, bore interactions on the promenade, and bore impacts on the dike-mounted vertical wall at the end of the promenade (storm wall or building). The validation is done using rare large-scale experimental data. Model performance and pattern statistics are employed to quantify the ability of the numerical model to reproduce the experimental data. In the evaluation method, a repeated test is used to estimate the experimental uncertainty. The solver interFoam is shown to generally have a very good model performance rating. A detailed analysis of the complex processes preceding the impacts on the vertical wall proves that a correct reproduction of the horizontal impact force and pressures is highly dependent on the accuracy of reproducing the bore interactions.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number650
JournalJournal of Marine Science and Engineering
Issue number9
StatePublished - Sep 2020
Externally publishedYes


  • Dike-mounted vertical wall
  • OpenFOAM
  • Shallow foreshore
  • Validation
  • Wave impact loads
  • Wave modelling

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Civil and Structural Engineering
  • Water Science and Technology
  • Ocean Engineering


Dive into the research topics of 'Validation of RANS modelling for wave interactions with sea dikes on shallow foreshores using a large-scale experimental dataset'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this