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Natural Hazards and Earth System Sciences An interactive open-access journal of the European Geosciences Union
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© Author(s) 2019. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.
© Author(s) 2019. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

Research article 21 Jan 2019

Research article | 21 Jan 2019

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This discussion paper is a preprint. It is a manuscript under review for the journal Natural Hazards and Earth System Sciences (NHESS).

LES Modeling of Tsunami-like Solitary Wave Processes over Fringing Reefs

Yu Yao1,4, Tiancheng He1, Zhengzhi Deng2, Long Chen1,3, and Huiqun Guo1 Yu Yao et al.
  • 1School of Hydraulic Engineering, Changsha University of Science and Technology, Changsha, Hunan 410114, China
  • 2Ocean College, Zhejiang University, Zhoushan, Zhejiang 316021, China
  • 3Key Laboratory of Water-Sediment Sciences and Water Disaster Prevention of Hunan Province, Changsha 410114, China
  • 4Key Laboratory of Coastal Disasters and Defence of Ministry of Education, Nanjing, Jiangsu 210098, China

Abstract. Many low-lying tropical and sub-tropical reef-fringed coasts are vulnerable to inundation during tsunami events. Hence accurate prediction of tsunami wave transformation and runup over such reefs is a primary concern in the coastal management of hazard mitigation. To overcome the deficiencies of using depth-integrated models in modeling tsunami-like solitary waves interacting with fringing reefs, a three-dimensional (3D) numerical wave tank based on the Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) tool OpenFOAM® is developed in this study. The Navier–Stokes equations for two-phase incompressible flow are solved, using the Large Eddy Simulation (LES) method for turbulence closure and the Volume of Fluid (VOF) method for tracking the free surface. The adopted model is firstly validated by two existing laboratory experiments with various wave conditions and reef configurations. The model is then applied to examine the impacts of varying reef morphologies (fore-reef slope, back-reef slope, lagoon width, reef-crest width) on the solitary wave runup. The current and vortex evolutions associated with the breaking solitary wave around both the reef crest and the lagoon are also addressed via the numerical simulations.

Yu Yao et al.
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Yu Yao et al.
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Publications Copernicus
Short summary
Tsunami can be destructive when it inundates the coastal areas. In recent years, the positive role of coral reefs in mitigating the tsunami waves has aroused the attentions among the scholars. We therefore investigate the tsunami wave interaction with a reef profile via a sophisticated numerical model. We find that the low-lying coastal areas, fringed by coral reefs with milder back-reef beaches and smaller lagoons, are less susceptible to the coastal inundation during a tsunami event.
Tsunami can be destructive when it inundates the coastal areas. In recent years, the positive...