Test and evaluation of surf forecasting model
Thornton, Edward B.
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A model forecasting the wave height and the longshore current distribution inside the surf zone based on the formulations by Thornton and Guza (1983), (1986), are applied to an extensive set of both laboratory and field data for the purposes of testing and modification. The models are tested on planar beaches as well as barred beaches for a variety of wave conditions. The wave transformation model is based on solving the energy flux equation using a bore dissipation mechanism and describing the random wave heights with the Rayleigh distribution. The two model parameters B and y, where B describes the amount of foam of a breaking wave and y is the proportionality constant which relates the rms wave height to the water depth, are combined into a single parameter BG. The combined parameter BG is shown to be a function of deep water surf similarity parameter. Applied to the present data sets, the rms error of the measured wave height and the model predicted wave height was usually less than 9°/ b and ranged from 1.5% to 15.7% with a mean of 5.3% and a standard deviation of 3.1% for the whole 74 data sets. The wave transformation model is highly robust in describing the wave height distribution in the surf zone.
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