Solution of the mild-slope wave problem by iteration

Vijay G. Panchang, Bryan R. Pearce, Ge Wei, Benoit Cushman-Roisin

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86 Citations (Scopus)


Iterative solution procedures for solving the complete mild-slope wave (combined refraction-diffraction) equation are developed. Existing models for investigating wave refraction-diffraction in coastal areas have one of two main problems; (i) Some of the physics is lost as they resort to approximate solutions (e.g. parabolic approximations). Thus they are inappropriate in many situations. (ii) If all of the physics is to be incorporated, the problem defies computer solution except for extremely small domains (approximately 10 wavelengths), chiefly because the matrix equation associated with numerical discretization of the complete problem does not normally lend itself to solution by iteration. This paper describes the construction of iterative models that overcome both problems. First, a modified equation with an identical solution but which lends itself to iterative procedures is formulated, and the conjugate gradient method is used. A second, more rapidly converging algorithm is obtained by preconditioning. It is shown that the algorithms can be conveniently implemented on regions much larger thanthose handled by conventional models, without compromising the physics of the equation. Further, they can be efficiently run in either the linear or nonlinear mode. Comparisons of model results with laboratory data and other numerical and analytical solutions are found to be excellent for several cases. The procedures thus enable the engineer to expand the scope of the mild-slope equation. As an example, an experiment is performed to demonstrate the sensitivity of the wavefield to the location of a breakwater in a region with complex bathymetry.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)187-199
Number of pages13
JournalApplied Ocean Research
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Aug 1991


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ocean Engineering

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