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.

2011
Feddersen, F, Clark DB, Guza RT.  2011.  Modeling surf zone tracer plumes: 1. Waves, mean currents, and low-frequency eddies. Journal of Geophysical Research-Oceans. 116   10.1029/2011jc007210   AbstractWebsite

A model that accurately simulates surf zone waves, mean currents, and low-frequency eddies is required to diagnose the mechanisms of surf zone tracer transport and dispersion. In this paper, a wave-resolving time-dependent Boussinesq model is compared with waves and currents observed during five surf zone dye release experiments. In a companion paper, Clark et al. (2011) compare a coupled tracer model to the dye plume observations. The Boussinesq model uses observed bathymetry and incident random, directionally spread waves. For all five releases, the model generally reproduces the observed cross-shore evolution of significant wave height, mean wave angle, bulk directional spread, mean alongshore current, and the frequency-dependent sea surface elevation spectra and directional moments. The largest errors are near the shoreline where the bathymetry is most uncertain. The model also reproduces the observed cross-shore structure of rotational velocities in the infragravity (0.004 < f < 0.03 Hz) and very low frequency (VLF) (0.001 < f < 0.004 Hz) bands, although the modeled VLF energy is 2-3 times too large. Similar to the observations, the dominant contributions to the modeled eddy-induced momentum flux are in the VLF band. These eddies are elliptical near the shoreline and circular in the mid surf zone. The model-data agreement for sea swell waves, low-frequency eddies, and mean currents suggests that the model is appropriate for simulating surf zone tracer transport and dispersion.

2008
Apotsos, A, Raubenheimer B, Elgar S, Guza RT.  2008.  Wave-driven setup and alongshore flows observed onshore of a submarine canyon. Journal of Geophysical Research-Oceans. 113   10.1029/2007jc004514   AbstractWebsite

The effect of alongshore variations in the incident wavefield on wave-driven setup and on alongshore flows in the surfzone is investigated using observations collected onshore of a submarine canyon. Wave heights and radiation stresses at the outer edge of the surfzone (water depth approximate to 2.5 m) varied by up to a factor of 4 and 16, respectively, over a 450 m alongshore distance, resulting in setup variations as large as 0.1 m along the shoreline (water depth approximate to 0.3 m). Even with this strong alongshore variability, wave-driven setup was dominated by the cross-shore gradient of the wave radiation stress, and setup observed in the surfzone is predicted well by a one-dimensional cross-shore momentum balance. Both cross-shore radiation stress gradients and alongshore setup gradients contributed to the alongshore flows observed in the inner surfzone when alongshore gradients in offshore wave heights were large, and a simplified alongshore momentum balance suggests that the large [O(1 kg/(s(2) m)] observed setup-induced pressure gradients can drive strong [O(1 m/s)] alongshore currents.

1997
Chen, YZ, Guza RT, Elgar S.  1997.  Modeling spectra of breaking surface waves in shallow water. Journal of Geophysical Research-Oceans. 102:25035-25046.   10.1029/97jc01565   AbstractWebsite

Predictions from Boussinesq-equation-based models for the evolution of breaking surface gravity waves in shallow water are compared with field and laboratory observations. In the majority of the 10 cases investigated, the observed spectral evolution across the surf zone is modeled more accurately by a dissipation that increases at high frequency than by a frequency-independent dissipation. However, in each case the predicted spectra are qualitatively accurate for a wide range of frequency-dependent dissipations, apparently because preferential reduction of high-frequency energy (by dissipation that increases with increasing frequency) is largely compensated by increased nonlinear energy transfers to high frequencies. In contrast to the insensitivity of predicted spectral levels, model predictions of skewness and asymmetry (statistical measures of the wave shapes) are sensitive to the frequency dependence of the dissipation. The observed spatial evolution of skewness and asymmetry is predicted qualitatively well by the model with frequency-dependent dissipation, but ij predicted poorly with frequency-independent dissipation. Although the extension of the Boussinesq equations to breaking waves is ad hoc, a dissipation depending on the frequency squared (as previously suggested) reproduces well the observed evolution of wave frequency spectra, skewness, and asymmetry.

Vanhoff, B, Elgar S, Guza RT.  1997.  Numerically simulating non-Gaussian sea surfaces. Journal of Waterway Port Coastal and Ocean Engineering-Asce. 123:68-72.   10.1061/(asce)0733-950x(1997)123:2(68)   AbstractWebsite

A technique to simulate non-Gaussian time series with a desired (''target'') power spectrum and bispectrum is applied to ocean waves. The targets were obtained from observed bottom pressure fluctuations of shoaling, nonbreaking waves in 2-9 m water depth. The variance (i.e., frequency integrated spectrum), skewness, and asymmetry (i.e., frequency integrated bispectrum) of the simulated time series compare favorably with the observations, even for highly skewed and asymmetric near-breaking waves. The mean lengths of groups of high waves from non-Gaussian simulated time series are closer to observed values than those from Gaussian simulations. The simulations suggest that quadratic phase coupling between waves (of different frequencies) in shallow water results in longer wave groups than occur with linear, uncoupled waves having the identical power spectrum.

1995
Raubenheimer, B, Guza RT, Elgar S, Kobayashi N.  1995.  Swash on a Gently Sloping Beach. Journal of Geophysical Research-Oceans. 100:8751-8760.   10.1029/95jc00232   AbstractWebsite

Waves observed in the inner surf and swash zones of a fine grained, gently sloping beach are modeled accurately with the nonlinear shallow water equations. The model is initialized with observations from pressure and current sensors collocated about 50 m from the mean shoreline in about 1 m depth, and model predictions are compared to pressure fluctuations measured at five shoreward locations and to run-up. Run-up was measured with a vertical stack of five wires supported parallel to and above the beach face at elevations of 5, 10, 15, 20, and 25 cm. Each 60-m-long run-up wire yields time series of the most shoreward location where the water depth exceeds the wire elevation. As noted previously, run-up measurements are sensitive to the wire elevation owing to thin run-up tongues not measured by the more elevated wires. As the wire elevation increases, the measured mean run-up location moves seaward, low-frequency (infragravity) energy decreases, and higher-frequency sea swell energy increases. These trends, as well as the variation of wave spectra and shapes (e.g., wave skewness) across the inner surf zone, are well predicted by the numerical model.