Modelling infragravity waves and currents across a fringing coral reef

Ap Van Dongeren, Ryan Lowe, Andrew Pomeroy, Duong Minh Trang, Dano Roelvink, Graham Symonds, Roshanka Ranasinghe

Research output: Chapter in Book/Conference paperConference paperpeer-review


Low-frequency (infragravity) wave dynamics on a fringing coral reef were investigated using the numerical model XBeach (Roelvink et al, 2009). First, the skill of the one-dimensional model was evaluated based on its predictions of short waves (0.04-0.2 Hz), infragravity waves (0.004-0.04 Hz) and water level measurements (tidal elevation and wave setup) obtained during a 2009 field study at Ningaloo Reef in Western Australia. The model calibration was sensitive to friction coefficients for short waves and current / infragravity bed friction, which were assumed independent in this model study. The infragravity waves were found to be generated primarily in the surf zone through the breakpoint generation mechanism rather than through offshore forcing. The infragravity waves were also strongly modulated over the reef by tidal depth variations, primarily due to the variability in frictional dissipation rates when the total water depth over the reef varied. The results revealed that short waves dominated bottom stresses on the forereef and near the reef crest; however, inside the lagoon, infragravity waves become increasingly dominant, accounting up to 50% of the combined bottom stresses.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationProceedings of the 33rd International Conference on Coastal Engineering 2012
EditorsPatrick Lynett , Jane McKee Smith
Place of PublicationUnited States
PublisherCoastal Engineering Research Council
ISBN (Print)9780989661119
Publication statusPublished - 2012
Event33rd International Conference on Coastal Engineering 2012, ICCE 2012 - Santander, Spain
Duration: 1 Jul 20126 Jul 2012


Conference33rd International Conference on Coastal Engineering 2012, ICCE 2012


Dive into the research topics of 'Modelling infragravity waves and currents across a fringing coral reef'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this