Experimental investigation of waves breaking over a bar in the surf zone.
Pillay, Ursula Monica.
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Experiments on regular two dimensional waves breaking over an artificial sand bar were conducted in a glass walled flume to facilitate an investigation of the hydrodynamic processes that evolve in the surf zone. The instantaneous time averaged velocities and the velocity flow fields have been measured using digital video imaging and analysis techniques. The instantaneous velocity flow fields were then processed, resulting in the phase-ensemble-averaged velocities, time averaged velocities and energy and momentum fluxes. The time averaged velocities above the trough level have been found to be much higher than those below. After wave breaking, kinetic energy and momentum flux are shown to increase, reaching a peak value and decreasing thereafter. An estimate of the relative density of the fluid in the wave crests was obtained by comparing the forward and reverse velocity fluxes. Other surf zone physical parameters such as the free surface displacements, wave heights across the flume and potential energies have been derived from the resistive wave gauge measurements. A spectral analysis of the water level time series was conducted and the energy growth in each spectral component was examined. It was noticed that there is a transfer of energy from the primary frequency of the wave maker to higher harmonics. Also, wave breaking has little effect on the amplitudes of the harmonic components. The roller and aeration areas were also computed. Two methods of estimating the roller area have been explored and these are the analysis of the wave gauge measurements of the surface elevation and the analysis of the video images. There was agreement between the results obtained and those published in the literature.