One-dimensional modelling of individual waves and wave-induced longshore currents in the surf zone

L. C. Van Rijn*, K. M. Wijnberg

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

33 Citations (Scopus)


A probabilistic model (WAVIS-model) was developed to describe the propagation and transformation of individual waves (wave by wave approach). The individual waves shoal until an empirical criterion for breaking is satisfied. Wave height decay after breaking is modelled by using an energy dissipation method. Wave-induced set-up and set-down and breaking-associated longshore currents are also modelled. Laboratory and field data were used to calibrate and verify the model. The model was calibrated by adjusting the wave breaking coefficient (as a function of local wave steepness and bottom slope) to obtain optimum agreement between measured and computed wave height. Four tests carried out in the large Delta flume of Delft Hydraulics were considered. Generally, the measured H1/3-wave heights are reasonably well represented by the model in all zones from deep water to the shallow surf zone. The fraction of breaking waves was reasonably well represented by the model in the upsloping zones of the bottom profile. Verification of the model results with respect to wave-induced longshore current velocities was not extensive, because of a lack of data. In case of a barred profile the measured longshore velocities showed a relatively uniform distribution in the (trough) zone between the bar crest and the shoreline, which could to some extent be modelled by including space-averaging of the radiation force gradient, horizontal mixing and longshore water surface gradients related to variations in set-up. In case of a monotonically upsloping profile the cross-shore distribution of the longshore current velocities is reasonably well represented.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)121-145
Number of pages25
JournalCoastal engineering
Issue number1-4
Publication statusPublished - Sept 1996
Externally publishedYes


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