Large Events in Waves on the Continental Shelf

Alistair Borthwick, Mohd. R.M. Hannifah, Paul Taylor, Chris Swan, Vanessa Katsardi

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution


Offshore structures located on the continental shelf experience loading from locally extreme events in storm-induced wave groups as they shoal. This paper examines modern developments in assessing the transformations that take place to ocean wave spectra as the bathymetry shallows, and examines laboratory data obtained from tests undertaken at Imperial College London on random waves as they travel over gently sloping beds. The data show that NewWave provides a satisfactory fit to the largest crest- and trough- focused events in all depths of water, until wave breaking occurs. The paper also considers how well NewWave models the linear behavior of extreme waves in shallowing water, and presents results from a Stokes-like expansion accounting for the asymmetry of large waves. It is shown that the largest crest elevations, lowest trough elevations, and breaking wave heights are all limited by a modified Miche criterion. The findings should be useful to offshore engineers required to assess the air gap elevation of structures located on the continental shelf.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationCivil Engineering Research Ireland CERI 2014, Queen’s University Belfast, 28-29 August, 2014, 7-13
Publication statusPublished - 2014


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