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.

2015
Fiedler, JW, Brodie KL, McNinch JE, Guza RT.  2015.  Observations of runup and energy flux on a low-slope beach with high-energy, long-period ocean swell. Geophysical Research Letters. 42:9933-9941.   10.1002/2015gl066124   AbstractWebsite

The transformation of surface gravity waves from 11 m depth to runup was observed on the low-sloped (1/80) Agate Beach, Oregon, with a cross-shore transect of current meters, pressure sensors, and a scanning lidar. Offshore wave heights H-0 ranged from calm (0.5 m) to energetic (> 7 m). Runup, measured with pressure sensors and a scanning lidar, increases linearly with (H0L0)(1/2), with L-0 the deep-water wavelength of the spectral peak. Runup saturation, in which runup oscillations plateau despite further increases in (H0L0)(1/2), is not observed. Infragravity wave shoaling and nonlinear energy exchanges with short waves are included in an infragravity wave energy balance. This balance closes for high-infragravity frequencies (0.025-0.04 Hz) but not lower frequencies (0.003-0.025 Hz), possibly owing to unmodeled infragravity energy losses of wave breaking and/or bottom friction. Dissipative processes limit, but do not entirely damp, increases in runup excursions in response to increased incident wave forcing.

2006
Henderson, SM, Guza RT, Elgar S, Herbers THC.  2006.  Refraction of surface gravity waves by shear waves. Journal of Physical Oceanography. 36:629-635.   10.1175/jpo2890.1   AbstractWebsite

Previous field observations indicate that the directional spread of swell-frequency (nominally 0.1 Hz) surface gravity waves increases during shoreward propagation across the surf zone. This directional broadening contrasts with the narrowing observed seaward of the surf zone and predicted by Snell's law for bathymetric refraction. Field-observed broadening was predicted by a new model for refraction of swell by lower-frequency (nominally 0.01 Hz) current and elevation fluctuations. The observations and the model suggest that refraction by the cross-shore currents of energetic shear waves contributed substantially to the observed broadening.

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.

1996
Okihiro, M, Guza RT.  1996.  Observations of seiche forcing and amplification in three small harbors. Journal of Waterway Port Coastal and Ocean Engineering-Asce. 122:232-238.   10.1061/(asce)0733-950x(1996)122:5(232)   AbstractWebsite

Extensive field observations are used to characterize seiches (periods 0.5-30 min) in three small harbors with similar surface areas (similar to 1 km(2)), water depths (5-12 m), and swell wave climates. On the continental shelf just offshore of each harbor mouth, the energy levels of waves in the infragravity frequency band 0.002-0.03 Hz (periods 0.5-10 min) vary by more than a factor of 200 in response to comparably large variations in swell energy levels. Energy levels in this swell-driven frequency band also vary (less dramatically) in response to changes in the swell frequency and with tidal stage. Motions at longer seiche periods (10-30 min) are primarily driven by meteorological and other processes (a tsunami-generated seiche is described). As has often been observed, the amplification of seiche energy within each harbor basin (relative to energy in the same frequency band outside the harbor) varies as a function of seiche frequency, and is largest at the frequency of the lowest resonant harbor mode (i.e., the Helmholtz or grave mode). At all three harbors, the average amplification of the grave mode decreases (by at least a factor of 2) with increasing seiche energy, a trend consistent with a nonlinear dissipation mechanism such as flow separation in the harbor mouth or sidewall and bottom friction.

1994
Elgar, S, Herbers THC, Guza RT.  1994.  Reflection of Ocean Surface Gravity-Waves from a Natural Beach. Journal of Physical Oceanography. 24:1503-1511.   10.1175/1520-0485(1994)024<1503:roosgw>2.0.co;2   AbstractWebsite

The energy of seaward and shoreward propagating ocean surface gravity waves on a natural beach was estimated with data from an array of 24 bottom-mounted pressure sensors in 13-m water depth, 2 km from the North Carolina coast. Consistent with a parameterization of surface wave reflection from a plane sloping beach by Miche, the ratio of seaward to shoreward propagating energy in the swell-sea frequency band (0.044-0.20 Hz) decreased with increasing wave frequency and increasing wave height, and increased with increasing beach-face slope. Although most incident swell-sea energy dissipated in the surf zone, reflection was sometimes significant (up to 18% of the incident swell-sea energy) when the beach face was steep (at high tide) and the wave field was dominated by low-energy, low-frequency swell. Frequency-directional spectra show that reflection of swell and sea was approximately specular. The ratio of seaward to shoreward propagating energy in the infragravity frequency band (0.010-0.044 Hz) varied between about 0.5 and 3 and increased with increasing swell energy. This trend suggests that infragravity waves generated in very shallow water, and refractively trapped on the sloping seabed, are significantly dissipated over a 50-km wide shelf during storms.

1993
Okihiro, M, Guza RT, Seymour RJ.  1993.  Excitation of Seiche Observed in a Small Harbor. Journal of Geophysical Research-Oceans. 98:18201-18211.   10.1029/93jc01760   AbstractWebsite

Seiche measured within a small (0.6 by 0.6 km), shallow (12-m depth) harbor is dominated by oscillations in several narrow infragravity frequency bands between approximately 10(-3) and 10(-2) Hz. Energy levels within the harbor are amplified, relative to just outside the harbor in 8.5-m depth, by as much as a factor of 20 at the lowest (grave mode) resonant frequency (approximately 10(-3) Hz) compared to amplifications of roughly 5 at higher resonant frequencies (approximately 10(-2) Hz). At nonresonant frequencies, energy levels observed inside the harbor are lower than those outside. These amplifications are compared to predictions of a numerical model of seiche excited by linear, inviscid long waves impinging on a harbor of variable depth. The amplification of higher-frequency (approximately 10(-2)-Hz) seiches is predicted within a factor of about 2. However, at the grave mode (10(-3) Hz), the observed amplification decreases with increasing swell and seiche energy levels, possibly owing to the sensitivity of this highly amplified mode to dissipation not included in the inviscid model. The energy levels of higher-frequency seiche within the harbor were predicted from the offshore sea and swell spectra by the ad hoc coupling of the linear model for the amplification of harbor modes with a nonlinear model for the generation of bound infragravity waves outside the harbor. The predictions are qualitatively accurate only when the swell is energetic and bound waves are a significant fraction of the infragravity energy outside the harbor.