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Journal of Coastal Research

SI 56

514 - 518

ICS2009 (Proceedings)

Portugal

ISSN 0749-0258

Numerical Study of Breakwater Steepness Effect on the Hydrodynamics


of Standing Waves and Steady Streaming
F. Hajivalie and A. Yeganeh-Bakhtiary
Dept. of Civil Engineering
yeganeh@iust.ac.ir
Iran University of Science and
Technology, Tehran
16844, Iran
f_hajivalie@iust.ac.ir
ABSTRACT
Hajivalie, F. and Yeganeh-Bakhtiary, A., 2009. Numerical study of breakwater steepness effect on the
hydrodynamics of standing waves and steady streaming. Journal of Coastal Research, SI 56 (Proceedings of the
10th International Coastal Symposium), 514 518. Lisbon, Portugal, ISSN 0749-0258.
A 2D numerical model based on Reynolds Averaged Navier-Stokes (RANS) equations has been developed to
study the effect of breakwater steepness on standing waves and steady streaming. Turbulence effect was
described by using a k- turbulence closure model and free surface configuration was tracked by Volume of
Fluid (VOF) technique. The results of numerical model have been compared with experimental results of Xie
(1981) for standing waves in front of a vertical breakwater. Three individual simulations were set up for three
different breakwaters, a vertical wall, 1:2 and 2:1 sloped breakwater. From the model results it is concluded that
the milder slope cause a secondary steady streaming recirculating cell over the toe of breakwater which could be
in charge of scouring near the toe of sloped breakwater.
ADITIONAL INDEX WORDS: k-, RANS, Recirculating cells, Sloped breakwater , Vertical breakwater, VOF

INTRODUTION
When an incident wave impinges on an impermeable
breakwater, a reflected wave moves back to the offshore, the
superposition of these two waves results in a standing wave. The
standing wave can produce a field of steady streaming which
consists of top and bottom recirculating cells as illustrated in Fig.
1; the formation of bottom cells is a function of boundary layer
over the bed.
Carter et al. (1973) were the first who noticed the effect of
standing waves on formation of parallel pattern of
scour/deposition in sand bars near the shorelines. Xie (1981)
experimentally studied the scour pattern in sand bed in front of
vertical breakwater under action of standing waves. His
experiments concluded of relatively fine and relatively coarse
sands, the results indicated that there are two different pattern of
scour/deposition for these two sediment size. This difference is

Figure 1. Standing waves and Steady streaming in front of vertical


breakwater, Sumer and Fredse(2000)

because of the effect of bottom and top recirculating cells on


coarse and fine sands which respectively transport in bed load and
suspension load as pointed out by Fredse and Sumer (1997).
Sumer and Fredse (2000) experimentally studied the scouring
in front of a rubble-mound breakwater and compare it with the
scouring in front of a vertical breakwater. They deducted that the
key mechanism in the scour process at rubble-mound breakwater
is the steady streaming caused by partially standing waves, the
same as in case of vertical breakwater. They also observed that the
scour just at the breakwater has a non-zero value in the case of
rubble-mound breakwater contrary to the vertical breakwater case.
Therefore they suggested that there must be a difference between
steady streaming resulted by fully standing waves in front of
vertical breakwater and partially standing waves in front of sloped
breakwater. Another key parameter which changes fully standing
waves to partially standing waves is the overtopping of wave over
the breakwater.
Shaosong et al. (2001) experimentally studied the effect of
overtopping on the kinematic and dynamic characteristics of
partially standing waves include maximum horizontal velocity of
water particles near the node of standing waves. They indicated
that maximum horizontal velocity of water particles decrease
slightly in case of partially standing waves.
Lee and Mizutani (2008) experimentally studied the effect of
overtopping on the scour occurred at a vertical impermeable
submerged breakwater under action of partial standing waves.
They indicated that the location of maximum scour is the same as
vertical breakwaters; though it slightly decreases mainly depend
on the reflection coefficient of the submerged breakwater.
The complexity of the interaction of waves and breakwater and
the limitation in experimental apparatus have directed researcher
to use the numerical simulation as an alternative approach.
Gislason et al. (2000) employed a two-dimensional Navier-Stokes
model to simulate the standing waves pattern in front of a vertical

Journal of Coastal Research, Special Issue 56, 2009


514

Numerical study of breakwater steepness effect on the hydrodynamics of standing waves and steady streaming

breakwater. The height function was implemented in their study to


define the free surface motion. They reported some early results
on the steady streaming velocities at some fixed points by period
averaging for an Airy wave case, but no further results was
reported by them.
Bing (2007) established a two-dimensional numerical wave
flume based on an arbitrary Lagrangian-Eulerian (ALE)
description of the Navier-Stokes equations, to simulate the local
scour in front of vertical breakwater. The morphologic
development was obtained by solving the equation of continuity
for sediment. Although the model could simulate the steady
streaming cells with a good approximation, the model could just
simulate the clockwise recirculating cells.
Hajivalie et al. (2008a) presented a numerical model based on
RANS equations, to simulate the standing waves in front of a
vertical breakwater. The free surface configuration was tracked by
Volume Of Fluid technique proposed by Hirt and Nichols (1981).
To validate this model, the model results have been compared
with the experimental data of Xie (1981). To study the effect of
bed slope on the pattern of standing waves Hajivalie et al. (2008b)
developed their model using a k- turbulence model. It was
evident that bed slope changes the size of steady streaming
recirculating cells during the shoaling effect. This also indicated
that the turbulence parameters are much higher near the slope bed
than near the flat bed.
To clarify the effect of breakwater steepness on the
hydrodynamic characteristics of standing waves we have
employed Hajivalie et al. (2008b) numerical model. Three
simulations were set up with the same hydrodynamic situation for
three different breakwaters, vertical, 1:2 or mild and 2:1 or steep
sloped breakwater. The pattern of steady streaming, orbital
velocities and the maximum horizontal velocity have been studied
in these simulations.



U
W


x
t
x
z x
t

2

C1 Pr C 2

z
z
k
k

(5)

U 2 W 2 U W 2
p r t 2




x
x z z

(6)

t C

U W

0
x
z
U
U
U
1 P
U
W

t
x
z
x

U W

x
z z
W
W
W
1 P
U
W

g
t
x
z
z

U
2
x
x

U W
W

x z
x z
z

k
k
k k
U W t
t
x
z x k x
t k
pr
z k z

(1)

, t

(7)

Table 1: k- model constants (Launder and Spalding, 1974)

C
C1
C2
k
0.09
1.44
1.92
1.0
1.3

Initial and Boundary Condition


The initial flow motion is specified with the zero mean
velocities and hydrostatic pressure. The initial conditions of the
turbulence field are set according to Lin (1998) as follows:

1 2
u t , u t c i , 0.0025
2

Cd

k2

, t , 0.1

(8)
(9)

where ci is the wave celerity at the inlet boundary, Cd, Drag


coefficient and and are constant values.
Boundary conditions at the free surface, bottom, inlet and outlet
have to be defined. The free surface motion is tracked by the VOF
technique of Hirt and Nichols (1981), which satisfies both the
kinematic and dynamic free surface conditions, the conservation
of F or the volume fraction of fluid is expressed as follows:

F
F
F
U
W
0
t
x
z

(2)

(3)

where U and W are the mean velocity components of flow in x


(stream-wise) and z (vertical) direction; P is the mean pressure; g
is the acceleration of gravity; is the fluid density; and t are
respectively kinematic and kinetic eddy viscosity; k is the
turbulence kinetic energy; pr is the production of turbulence
kinetic energy and is the turbulence dissipation rate. The model
constants are set according to Launder and Spalding (1974):

MATEMATICAL FORMULATION
The RANS equations, which describe the mean flow field, in
closure with a k- turbulence model are applied to simulate the
turbulent flow in front of a vertical breakwater. The governing
equations consist of the continuity, momentum and the k-
equations in two-dimensional coordinates as follow:

k2

(10)

Turbulence does not spread to free surface and solid boundaries,


hence the vertical flux of k and on the free surface and near the
solid boundaries should reach to zero:

k
0
n

0
n

(11)

At the bottom, and the outlet (the breakwater) no slip boundary


condition was used:
(4)

Un 0

U s
0
n

(12)

where Un and Us respectively represent the normal and tangential


velocities. At the inlet boundaries Neuman continuative boundary
condition are assumed.

Journal of Coastal Research, Special Issue 56, 2009


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Hajivalie and Yeganeh-Bakhtiary

Table (2) summarizes the characteristics of the three tests we


have simulated from Xies experiments. In the numerical
simulations, the computational domain has total length of 14.5 m
to reduce the calculation time and a height of 0.7 m with the
incident wave being generated at inlet boundary; the Airy wave
theory was used in the inlet boundary. The length of
computational domain is shortened than the experimental flume to
reduce the computation times.
Table 2: Numerical simulation condition based on Xie (1981)
experiment
H(m)
T(s)
d(m)
L(m)
Test No. 1
0.05
2.41
0.45-0.3
4.00
Test No. 2
0.065
1.53
0.45-0.3
2.40
Test No. 3
0.06
1.86
0.45-0.3
6.00
Figure 2. Schematic sketch of numerical domain

k1, j k2 , j , kimax 1 , j kimax 2 , j

1, j 2, j , i

max 1 , j

imax 2 , j

(13)

To generate the incident waves into the numerical domain, the


generating-absorbing boundary condition, introduced by Petit et
al. (1994) is implemented. By imposing this condition, waves can
be generated while the reflected waves from the vertical
breakwater simultaneously can be absorbed. This prohibits the
collision (intermixing) of the generated and reflected waves that
propagate in the direction opposite the zone of interest as follow:

Rr
R
Cr r 0
t
x

(14)

Rr Rt Rin

(15)

where Cr is the celerity of reflected wave; Rr, Rt and Rin are the
variable associated with the reflected, computed and the
theoretical wave values represents velocity, pressure, and free
surface displacement and Rin is the calculated by the Airy or
Stokes second order theory, Figure (2) shows the schematic sketch
of numerical domain for vertical and sloped breakwater.

RESULTS AND DISCUSSIONS


Model validation
To assess the accuracy of the numerical model, the model
results have been compared with the experimental data of Xie
(1981) for standing waves in front of vertical breakwater. Figure
(3) depicts the experimental set up near vertical breakwater by Xie
(1981). The experiment was conducted in a 38 m long, 0.8 m wide
and 0.6 m deep wave flume. The water depth was equal to 0.45 m
in the beginning of the flume and reached to 0.3 at the flat bed
near the breakwater by a 1:30 slope. The incident waves varied
from 5.0 to 9.0 cm and the wave period varied from 1.17 to 3.56m.

Figure 3. The sketch of physical model, Xie (1981)

Xie (1981) measured the maximum horizontal velocity in two


sections, near the first node of standing waves and halfway of
node and antinode. Figure (4) presents the comparison between
the numerical the model results and Xies experimental data for
Test No. 1, from the results it is evidence that there is a very good
agreement between the numerical results and the experimental
data.

Figure 4. Comparison of numerical model results and Xie (1981)


experimental data

Numerical simulation
As it was mentioned before, Sumer and Fredse (2000)
experimentally studied the scour process in front of rubble-mound
breakwaters and compared their results with Xies (1981)
experiments on local scouring in front of vertical breakwater.
From this comparison they concluded that although the key
mechanism of scour is the same in both cases, there are significant
differences between scour pattern in front of a vertical and sloped
breakwater as:

In the case of vertical breakwater, the scour is zero just


at the close vicinity of breakwater while it has a nonzero value in case of sloped breakwater.

The maximum scour depth in front of sloped breakwater


is about 25% smaller than vertical breakwater.
They justify the differences with the difference between the
pattern and strength of steady streaming in front of vertical and
sloped wall breakwater; however they mentioned that these
differences had not been studied since their experiments.
In order to explore the effect of the breakwater steepness on the
dynamic characteristics of standing waves, three different
simulations were set up in front of vertical, 1:2 or mild and 2:1 or
steep sloped breakwater. All hydrodynamic characteristics
including the wave height, wave period and water depth were the
same in these three simulations as they are summarized in table
(3).

Journal of Coastal Research, Special Issue 56, 2009


516

Numerical study of breakwater steepness effect on the hydrodynamics of standing waves and steady streaming

Figure 5. Standing waves amplitude in front of vertical and slope


breakwater

Figure 6. Steady streaming in front of breakwaters

Table 3: Numerical simulation characteristics


Test
Breakwater
T (s) L (m) H (m) d (m)
No.
slope
1
2.41
4.0
0.06
0.3
Vertical
2
2.41
4.0
0.06
0.3
2:1
3
2.41
4.0
0.06
0.3
1:2
The simulations took place in a numerical domain with 6m
length and 0.7m height, water depth was equal to 0.3m and the
distant between wave generator and breakwater was 4m equal to
one wave length. The simulation took place for 12.05 s equal to 5
wave periods. By starting the simulation, the incident waves
started to develop into the numerical domain and reflect after
impacting to the breakwater. For the vertical breakwater, from the
second wave period standing waves started to produce in front of
vertical breakwater and at the same time partially standing waves
occur in front of sloped breakwater. Fig. 5 shows the standing and
partially standing waves amplitude for the three simulations. The
figure indicates that for the standing waves in front of vertical
breakwater the feature of maximum and minimum water free
surface is almost symmetric, but this symmetry starts to be
disturbed as the breakwater steepness increase.
The steady streaming patterns of the three tests have been
explored sophistically near breakwaters in great details. Figure (6)
plots the steady streaming pattern generated by standing waves in
front of breakwaters, in which the orbital velocity of water
particles has been averaged during a wave period after the
standing waves have been completely developed. Formation of
clock wise and anti-clock wise recirculating cells in front of all
three breakwaters is displayed in this figure. The figure indicates
that there is not any noticeable difference between the steady
streaming pattern in front of vertical wall and steep sloped
breakwaters. In other words in both cases the steady streaming
recirculating cells have almost regular and symmetrical form,
while in front of mild sloped breakwater this regularity is
disturbed.

Figure 7. Steady streaming close to the breakwater


Near the mild slope breakwater, however the pattern of
recirculating cells is more complicated and it seems that a
secondary recirculating cell has been formed near the toe of
breakwater which is more visible in Figure (7). As it is illustrated
in this figure, an anti-clock wise recirculating cell is produced near
the toe of breakwater under the main clock wise recirculating cell
which is not observed in front of vertical wall breakwater. This
situation can strongly justify the reason of occurrence of scour just
at sloped breakwaters, mentioned by Sumer and Fredse (2000).
The maximum of horizontal velocity have been compared for
three cases in Figure (8). The plotted velocities were measured at
distant between breakwater toe and the first node of standing
waves (=L/4) and at 0.02m from the bed. This figure emphasis

Journal of Coastal Research, Special Issue 56, 2009


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Hajivalie and Yeganeh-Bakhtiary

Figure 8. Comparison between distribution of maximum


horizontal velocity in front of vertical and sloped breakwater

Figure 9. Comparison between variation of horizontal velocity


near sloped and vertical breakwater and at the node of standing
waves
that the maximum horizontal velocity near the breakwater is much
higher in case of mild sloped breakwater since the situation
changes with getting space from the breakwater, thus the
horizontal velocity at the node of standing waves is higher in case
of vertical breakwater that justify the deeper scour hole in front of
vertical breakwater as pointed out by Sumer and Fredse (2000).
The figure also indicates that the difference between steep sloped
and vertical breakwater is negligible.
Figure (9) compares the variation of horizontal velocity just
near the breakwater and at the node of standing waves during a
wave period. This figure declare that during a wave period in case
of mild sloped breakwater the horizontal velocity is higher than
the vertical breakwater case since at the node it is less than the
vertical breakwater.

CONCLUSION
In this paper a two-dimensional numerical model based on
Reynolds Averaged Navier-Stokes (RANS) equations with
closuring a k- turbulence model has been developed to study the
effect of breakwater steepness on the hydrodynamic
characteristics of standing waves. The free surface distribution
was tracked by Volume Of Fluid, VOF method. First the
numerical model has been validated using the experimental data of
Xie (1981); then three different simulations were set up in front of
vertical, mild and steep sloped breakwater with the same
hydrodynamic situation. From the numerical results the following
conclusions can be derived:

In case of mild sloped breakwater a secondary


recirculating cell forms near the toe of breakwater that
could be in charge of scouring occurs just at the
breakwater.
The orbital velocities are stronger at far vicinity of
vertical breakwater, but just at the close vicinity of the
breakwater, they are less than mild sloped breakwater.
The difference between hydrodynamic situation in front
of vertical and steep sloped breakwater is negligible.

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