Graduate Thesis Or Dissertation

 

Large-scale laboratory observations of wave breaking turbulence on a fixed barred beach Public Deposited

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https://ir.library.oregonstate.edu/concern/graduate_thesis_or_dissertations/td96k5214

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  • This thesis presents the details of a large-scale laboratory experiment to study the turbulence generated by waves breaking on a fixed barred beach. The data set includes comprehensive measurements of free surface displacement and fluid velocity for one random and one regular wave case. Observations of the time-averaged turbulent kinetic energy per unit mass, k̄, show that the turbulence generated by wave breaking was greatest at the bar crest and did not fully dissipate prior to reaching the bed. This indicates that, even in a time-averaged sense, wave breaking turbulence may be important for near-bed processes on a barred beach. Onshore of the bar, turbulence was generally confined to the upper part of the water colunm and dissipated once the waves reformed (approximately 1.5 wavelengths onshore of the bar crest). The turbulent structure was the same in the random and regular wave cases; however, the magnitude of k̄ was much less in the random wave case, despite similar offshore wave conditions. Three methods were used to separate the wave-induced and turbulent components of velocity: ensemble averaging, high-pass filtering, and a differencing method proposed by Trowbridge (1998). The magnitude of k̄ varied by as much as a factor of 5 among these methods, but qualitatively, the cross-shore and vertical structure was independent of the method used. The differencing method agreed closely with ensemble averaging in terms of the magnitude and structure of time-averaged quantities and in the signature of the time-dependent turbulent kinetic energy. Given this agreement and the general acceptance of ensemble averaging as an appropriate method to separate wave-induced and turbulent components of velocity for regular waves (Svendsen 1987), the differencing method appears to be the most suitable for application to random waves, such as those observed in the field.
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