High-fidelity numerical simulation of solitary wave propagation

Yichen Huang, Jing Li, Bin Xie, Zhiliang Lin, Alistair Borthwick

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


As a classic problem in oceanographic and coastal engineering hydrodynamics, solitary wave propagation is used to benchmark a novel high-fidelity numerical model based on the Navier–Stokes equations. The model combines the Finite Volume method based on Merged Stencil with 3rd-order reconstruction (FVMS3) and Tangent of Hyperbola for INterface Capturing method with Quadratic surface representation and Gaussian Quadrature (THINC/ QQ) schemes. Accurate predictions are made of inviscid and viscous solitary waves propagating on plane and sloping beaches. Model performance is assessed by comparing the predictions with analytical solutions, alternative numerical results obtained using interFoam solver in OpenFOAM and commercial flow software ANSYS Fluent, as well as experimental data. It is demonstrated that the present model significantly reduces undesirable numerical effects, including energy loss, wave decay, phase shift, and overestimation of the velocity profile of propagating waves even after long duration computations, by suppressing numerical dissipation and dispersion.
Original languageEnglish
Article number108698
Number of pages17
JournalOcean Engineering
Early online date23 Feb 2021
Publication statusPublished - 15 Mar 2021


  • Navier–Stokes equations
  • Finite volume method
  • Unstructured mesh
  • Multiphase flow
  • High-order reconstruction
  • Solitary wave


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