Journal article Open Access

Wave Vortex Parameters as an Indicator of Breaking Intensity

B. Robertson; K. Hall

The study of the geometric shape of the plunging wave enclosed vortices as a possible indicator for the breaking intensity of ocean waves has been ongoing for almost 50 years with limited success. This paper investigates the validity of using the vortex ratio and vortex angle as methods of predicting breaking intensity. Previously published works on vortex parameters, based on regular wave flume results or solitary wave theory, present contradictory results and conclusions. Through the first complete analysis of field collected irregular wave breaking vortex parameters it is illustrated that the vortex ratio and vortex angle cannot be accurately predicted using standard breaking wave characteristics and hence are not suggested as a possible indicator for breaking intensity.

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