Publications

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2019
Fiedler, JW, Smit PB, Brodie KL, McNinch J, Guza RT.  2019.  The offshore boundary condition in surf zone modeling. Coastal Engineering. 143:12-20.   10.1016/j.coastaleng.2018.10.014   AbstractWebsite

Numerical models predicting surfzone waves and shoreline runup in field situations are often initialized with shoreward propagating (sea-swell, and infragravity) waves at an offshore boundary in 10-30 m water depth. We develop an offshore boundary condition, based on Fourier analysis of observations with co-located current and pressure sensors, that accounts for reflection and includes nonlinear phase-coupling. The performance of additional boundary conditions derived with limited or no infragravity observations are explored with the wave resolving, nonlinear model SWASH 1D. In some cases errors in the reduced boundary conditions (applied in 11 m depth) propagate shoreward, whereas in other cases errors are localized near the offshore boundary. Boundary conditions that can be implemented without infragravity observations (e.g. bound waves) do not accurately simulate infragravity waves across the surfzone, and could corrupt predictions of morphologic change. However, the bulk properties of infragravity waves in the inner surfzone and runup are predicted to be largely independent of ig offshore boundary conditions, and dominated by ig generation and dissipation.

2012
Guza, RT, Feddersen F.  2012.  Effect of wave frequency and directional spread on shoreline runup. Geophysical Research Letters. 39   10.1029/2012gl051959   AbstractWebsite

Wave breaking across the surf zone elevates the mean water level at the shoreline (setup), and drives fluctuations about the mean (runup). Runup often is divided into sea-swell (0.04-0.3 Hz) and lower frequency infragravity (0.00-0.04 Hz) components. With energetic incident waves, runup is dominated by infragravity frequencies, and total water levels (combined setup and runup) can exceed 3 m, significantly contributing to coastal flooding and erosion. Setup and runup observations on sandy beaches are scattered about empirical parameterizations based on near-shoreline beach slope and deep water wave height and wavelength. Accurate parameterizations are needed to determine flooding and erosion risk to coastal ecosystems and communities. Here, numerical simulations with the Boussinesq wave model funwaveC are shown to statistically reproduce typical empirical setup and runup parameterizations. Furthermore, the model infragravity runup R-s((ig)) strongly depends on the incident wave directional and frequency spread (about the mean direction and peak frequency). Realistic directional spread variations change R-s((ig)) equivalent to a factor of two variation in incident wave height. The modeled R-s((ig)) is shown to vary systematically with a new, non-dimensional spreading parameter that involves peak frequency, frequency spread, and directional spread. This suggests a new parameterization for R-s((ig)) potentially useful to predict coastal flooding and erosion. Citation: Guza, R. T., and F. Feddersen (2012), Effect of wave frequency and directional spread on shoreline runup, Geophys. Res. Lett., 39, L11607, doi:10.1029/2012GL051959.

2007
Thomson, J, Elgar S, Herbers THC, Raubenheimer B, Guza RT.  2007.  Refraction and reflection of infragravity waves near submarine canyons. Journal of Geophysical Research-Oceans. 112   10.1029/2007jc004227   AbstractWebsite

[1] The propagation of infragravity waves ( ocean surface waves with periods from 20 to 200 s) over complex inner shelf ( water depths from about 3 to 50 m) bathymetry is investigated with field observations from the southern California coast. A wave-ray-path-based model is used to describe radiation from adjacent beaches, refraction over slopes ( smooth changes in bathymetry), and partial reflection from submarine canyons ( sharp changes in bathymetry). In both the field observations and the model simulations the importance of the canyons depends on the directional spectrum of the infragravity wave field radiating from the shoreline and on the distance from the canyons. Averaged over the wide range of conditions observed, a refraction-only model has reduced skill near the abrupt bathymetry, whereas a combined refraction and reflection model accurately describes the distribution of infragravity wave energy on the inner shelf, including the localized effects of steep-walled submarine canyons.

2005
Sheremet, A, Guza RT, Herbers THC.  2005.  A new estimator for directional properties of nearshore waves. Journal of Geophysical Research-Oceans. 110   10.1029/2003jc002236   AbstractWebsite

The infragravity wave (periods between roughly 20 and 200 s) energy balance in shallow, nearshore waters is believed to be effected by generation by groups of sea and swell, dissipation, shoreline reflection, and refractive trapping. Observations obtained with alongshore oriented arrays of current meters or pressure gauges have been previously used to identify concentrations of energy at the frequency-alongshore wavenumbers of refractively trapped edge waves, but seaward and shoreward propagating waves were not differentiated. Surfzone dissipation theoretically limits edge wave growth, and a different analysis (using the approximation of shore-normal propagation) shows that the energy flux of shoreward propagating infragravity waves decreases owing to surfzone dissipation. Here an estimator is developed that yields the alongshore wavenumber-frequency spectra of seaward and shoreward propagating waves, using the WKB approximation and observations from an alongshore-oriented array of pressure and velocity sensors. Example spectra, estimated using data from the spatially sparse and relatively short SandyDuck arrays, suggests that strong dissipation of shoreward propagating infragravity waves occurs over a wide range of alongshore wavenumbers, effectively suppressing the excitation of edge wave modes.

2002
Sheremet, A, Guza RT, Elgar S, Herbers THC.  2002.  Observations of nearshore infragravity waves: Seaward and shoreward propagating components. Journal of Geophysical Research-Oceans. 107   10.1029/2001jc000970   AbstractWebsite

[1] The variation of seaward and shoreward infragravity energy fluxes across the shoaling and surf zones of a gently sloping sandy beach is estimated from field observations and related to forcing by groups of sea and swell, dissipation, and shoreline reflection. Data from collocated pressure and velocity sensors deployed between 1 and 6 m water depth are combined, using the assumption of cross-shore propagation, to decompose the infragravity wave field into shoreward and seaward propagating components. Seaward of the surf zone, shoreward propagating infragravity waves are amplified by nonlinear interactions with groups of sea and swell, and the shoreward infragravity energy flux increases in the onshore direction. In the surf zone, nonlinear phase coupling between infragravity waves and groups of sea and swell decreases, as does the shoreward infragravity energy flux, consistent with the cessation of nonlinear forcing and the increased importance of infragravity wave dissipation. Seaward propagating infragravity waves are not phase coupled to incident wave groups, and their energy levels suggest strong infragravity wave reflection near the shoreline. The cross-shore variation of the seaward energy flux is weaker than that of the shoreward flux, resulting in cross-shore variation of the squared infragravity reflection coefficient (ratio of seaward to shoreward energy flux) between about 0.4 and 1.5.

1998
Gallagher, EL, Elgar S, Guza RT.  1998.  Observations of sand bar evolution on a natural beach. Journal of Geophysical Research-Oceans. 103:3203-3215.   10.1029/97jc02765   AbstractWebsite

Waves, currents, and the location of the seafloor were measured on a barred beach for about 2 months at nine locations along a cross-shore transect extending 255 m from 1 to 4 m water depth. The seafloor location was measured nearly continuously, even in the surf zone during storms, with sonar altimeters mounted on fixed frames. The crest of a sand bar initially located about 60 m from the shoreline moved 130 m offshore (primarily when the offshore significant wave height exceeded about 2 m), with 1.5 m of erosion near the initial location and I m of accretion at the final location. An energetics-type sediment transport model driven by locally measured near-bottom currents predicts the observed offshore bar migration, but not the slow onshore migration observed during low-energy wave conditions. The predicted offshore bar migration is driven primarily by cross-shore gradients in predicted suspended sediment transport associated with quasi-steady, near-bottom, offshore flows. These strong (> 50 cm/s) currents, intensified near the bar crest by wave breaking, are predicted to cause erosion on the shoreward slope of the bar and deposition on the seaward side. The feedback amoung morphology, waves, circulation, and sediment transport thus forces offshore bar migration during storms.

1995
Herbers, THC, Elgar S, Guza RT, Oreilly WC.  1995.  Infragravity-Frequency (0.005-0.05 Hz) Motions on the Shelf .2. Free Waves. Journal of Physical Oceanography. 25:1063-1079.   10.1175/1520-0485(1995)025<1063:ifhmot>2.0.co;2   AbstractWebsite

In Part I, the energy levels of ocean surface waves at infragravity frequencies (nominally 0.005-0.05 Hz) locally forced by swell in 13-m water depth were shown to be predicted accurately by second-order nonlinear wave theory. However, forced infragravity waves were consistently much less energetic than free infragravity waves. Here, in Part II, observations in depths between 8 and 204 m, on Atlantic and Pacific shelves, are used to investigate the sources and variability of free infragravity wave energy. Both free and forced infragravity energy levels generally increase with increasing swell energy and decreasing water depth, but their dependencies are markedly different. Although free waves usually dominate the infragravity frequency band, forced waves contribute a significant fraction of the total infragravity energy with high energy swell and/or in very shallow water. The observed h(-1) variation of free infragravity energy with increasing water depth h is stronger than the h(-1/2) dependence predicted for leaky surface gravity waves propagating approximately perpendicular to local depth contours, but is consistent with a heuristic, geometrical optics-based (WKB) model of the refractive trapping of a directionally broad wave field generated close to shore. Preliminary analysis shows that free infragravity waves are indeed directionally broad and that the propagation directions of infragravity waves and incident swell are related. Free infragravity energy levels also depend on the general geographic surroundings. Comparisons of observations from the same depth and with similar swell conditions, but on different shelves, suggest that more free infragravity wave energy is radiated from wide, sandy beaches than from rocky, cliffed coasts and that less energy is trapped on a narrow shelf than on a wide shelf.

1994
Herbers, THC, Elgar S, Guza RT.  1994.  Infragravity-Frequency (0.005-0.05 Hz) Motions on the Shelf .1. Forced Waves. Journal of Physical Oceanography. 24:917-927.   10.1175/1520-0485(1994)024<0917:ifhmot>2.0.co;2   AbstractWebsite

This is Part 1 of a two-part study of infragravity-frequency (nominally 0.005-0.05 Hz) motions on the continental shelf Data from a large aperture (250 m X 250 m) array of 24 bottom-mounted pressure transducers deployed in 13 m depth is used to investigate the local forcing of infragravity motions by nonlinear difference-frequency interactions of surface gravity waves. Second-order nonlinear theory (Hasselmann) and observed swell-sea frequency-directional spectra are used to predict the energy levels of forced infragravity waves. For a wide range of wave conditions, the predicted forced wave levels are lower than the observed energy levels, suggesting that the infragravity band contains a mix of free and forced waves. Bispectral analysis is used to estimate the relative amounts of free and forced infragravity energy. Good agreement between bispectrum-based estimates and theoretical predictions of forced wave energy confirms that second-order nonlinear theory accurately predicts locally forced infragravity motions. The contribution of forced waves to the total infragravity energy, ranging from less than 0.1% to about 30%, is largest when the infragravity energy is maximum, consistent with previously noted trends in similar water depths. The bispectral technique developed here to estimate the energy of forced and free infragravity waves is used in Part 2 to investigate, with data from single-point pressure gauges, the shelfwide variability of free infragravity energy.

1992
Okihiro, M, Guza RT, Seymour RJ.  1992.  Bound Infragravity Waves. Journal of Geophysical Research-Oceans. 97:11453-11469.   10.1029/92jc00270   AbstractWebsite

Model predictions of bound (i.e. nonlinearly forced by and coupled to wave groups) infragravity wave energy are compared with about 2 years of observations in 8- to 13-m depths at Imperial Beach. California, and Barbers Point. Hawaii. Frequency-directional spectra of free waves at sea and swell frequencies, estimated with a small array of four pressure sensors, are used to predict the bound wave spectra below 0.04 Hz. The predicted total bound wave energy is always less than the observed infragravity energy, and the underprediction increases with increasing water depth and especially with decreasing swell energy. At most half, and usually much less, of the observed infragravity energy is bound. Bound wave spectra am also predicted with data from a single wave gage in 183-m depth at Point Conception, California, and the assumption of unidirectional sea and swell. Even with energetic swell, less than 10% of the total observed infragravity energy in 183-m depth is bound. Free waves, either leaky or edge waves, are more energetic than bound waves at both the shallow and deep sites. The low level of infragravity energy observed in 183-m depth compared with 8- to 13-m depths, with similarly moderate sea and swell energy, suggests that leaky (and very high-mode edge) waves contribute less than 10% of the infragravity energy in 8-13 m. Most of the free infragravity energy in shallow water is refractively trapped and does not reach deep water.