Inertial energy dissipation in shallow-water breaking waves

W. Mostert, L. Deike

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35 Scopus citations


We present direct numerical simulations of breaking solitary waves in shallow water to quantify the energy dissipation during the active breaking time. We find that this dissipation can be predicted by an inertial model based on Taylor's hypothesis as a function of the local wave height, depth and the beach slope. We obtain a relationship that gives the dissipation rate of a breaking wave on a shallow slope as a function of local breaking parameters. Next, we use empirical relations to relate the local wave parameters to the offshore conditions. This enables the energy dissipation to be predicted in terms of the initial conditions. We obtain good collapse of the numerical data with respect to the theoretical scaling.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numberA12
JournalJournal of Fluid Mechanics
StatePublished - 2020

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Mechanics of Materials
  • Mechanical Engineering
  • Applied Mathematics


  • air/sea interactions
  • shallow water flows
  • wave breaking


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