Boussinesq modelling of transient rip currents

D.M.L. Johnson, Charitha Pattiaratchi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

67 Citations (Scopus)


The flow on a plane beach with a random, directionally spread wave field was simulated with a Boussinesq model. The random wave spectra were directionally symmetric with their central direction perpendicular to the beach, so no constant longshore current was generated. Variable wave-averaged currents were generated because of the spatially variable wave field, and sometimes formed offshore directed rip currents that appear in variable longshore locations. The rip currents are associated with a vortex pair which is generated within the surfzone and subsequently propagates offshore. Analysis of the vorticity balance show that the main vorticity input occurs within the inner surfzone. Three different beach slopes and four different wave spectra are simulated. The frequency, duration, and intensity of the transient rips depend on both the beach slope and the incident wave spectra. The results have important engineering implications for the transport of material in the nearshore zone, in particular on longshore uniform beaches. (C) 2005 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)419-439
JournalCoastal Engineering
Issue number5-6
Publication statusPublished - 2006

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