Infragravity Seiches in a Small Harbor

Cuomo, G, Guza RT.  2017.  Infragravity Seiches in a Small Harbor. Journal of Waterway Port Coastal and Ocean Engineering. 143

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A method is developed to estimate harbor seiche at Marina di Carrara, Italy, from the properties of wind-generated incident waves outside the harbor. A linear model of the spatial structure of amplified seiche modes is combined with empirical estimates of the response of each mode to variable incident wave forcing. These empirical coefficients parameterize the complex nonlinear transfer of energy from wind waves to lower frequency seiche. As at other small harbors (<1 km2 surface area) on ocean coasts, and consistent with previous analyses at Carrara, the observed seiche is relatively energetic at several periods between about 1 and 15 min that are highly amplified theoretically, and the spatial structure of modeled and observed seiches agree as well. The longest seiche (≈15 min) mode is almost spatially uniform within the harbor and dominates with low-energy, short-period incident wind waves (measured 1 km offshore of the harbor). Increased wave energy and longer periods excite shorter period (1–3 min) seiche modes with more complex spatial structure, including small areas of high amplification, which have led to operational issues. The energy in each of the six most energetic seiche modes is related in this paper empirically to offshore incident wind wave height and peak period, allowing detailed predictions of harbor seiche from routine wind wave forecasts. The approach appears applicable to relatively small, shallow harbors with reflective quay walls, in which the exterior harbor mouth is exposed, and the interior sheltered from energetic wind-generated waves.






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