Wave and flow response to an artificial surf reef: laboratory measurements
PublisherAmerican Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE)
Rights accessRestricted access - publisher's policy
Waves and currents are essential elements in the design of an artificial surfing reef ASR. ASRs are primarily designed to optimize the surfing conditions i.e., increase the surfability of the incoming waves possibly in combination with the shoreline protection from erosion. The currents generated by waves breaking on the ASR play an important role in the surfability through the wave-current interaction WCI . Depending on the design, the WCI may negatively affect the surfability by causing the waves to break prematurely due to the current-induced wave steepening. In addition, wave breaking tends to become more irregular due to the temporal variability of the underlying currents. To mitigate the negative effects of wave breaking induced currents on the surfability, three ASR layouts are examined through detailed laboratory experiments. The layouts differ in the alongshore separation distance between two symmetrical reef sides. The ensuing flow circulations are examined in detail with both in situ current meters and video observations of surface drifters. This is done for regular incident waves, bichromatic incident waves, and irregular incident waves, all with equal energy. A data analysis shows that for a given layout the mean flow patterns for regular, bichromatic, and irregular waves are qualitatively similar, with oblique rip currents exiting at either side of the reef and strong flow circulations onshore of the gap in between the two reef sides. Increasing the separation distance leads to a significant reduction of the obliquely exiting rip currents at the outer sides of the reef, but an increase in the flow circulation onshore of the gap. This has a positive effect on the surfability by reducing the negative effects associated with the WCI on the wave breaking, thus, providing longer rides.
CitationCaceres, I. [et al.]. Wave and flow response to an artificial surf reef: laboratory measurements. "Journal of hydraulic engineering", 09 Novembre 2009, vol. 136, núm. 5, p. 299-310.