Vertical variation of the flow across the surf zone

Erik Damgaard Christensen, Dirk-Jan Walstra, Narumon Emerat

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review


This paper reviews recent advances that have been made in the numerical modelling and measurement techniques of the surf zone. The review is restricted by the assumption of a long and uniform coastline case. Therefore, the frame of reference is the 2DV case, but including tree-dimensional processes important for this topic. During the last two decades, new measurement techniques have become available (e.g. Laser Doppler Anemometry (LDA) and Particle Image Velocimetry (PIV)), which have successfully been applied in numerous laboratory experiments. These methods have enabled detailed measurements of, for instance, the production, transport and dissipation of turbulence and have made a valuable contribution to our understanding of the processes in the surf zone. The first models that were developed were primarily based on assumptions directly derived from such observations. Since the development of the first numerical models in the mid-eighties, much research effort has been put into trying to improve these wave-averaged models because they can be applied at relatively low computational cost. The improved understanding of the surf-zone processes has also led to the development of more advanced intrawave models such as the Boussinesq-based models as well as the use of Navier–Stokes solvers. These new modelling techniques give a detailed description of the processes in the surf zone.
Original languageEnglish
JournalCoastal Engineering
Issue number3-4
Pages (from-to)169-198
Publication statusPublished - 2002
Externally publishedYes

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