|March 10, 2006: Andrea Barreiro, CIMS
Wave-driven vortex dynamics in the near-shore region
A longstanding problem in coastal oceanography is the
prediction of the alongshore currents that are forced by breaking
waves in the surf zone. Traditional models based on a 1D momentum balance
surf zone predict that current should be strongest in regions of the
strongest wave breaking. However, current on a beach with a sandbar is
sometimes observed to have a maximum in the "trough" of the bar, far from
region of maximum wave breaking.
We propose a mechanism for the development of this current based on
vortex dynamics and show, based on idealized studies, that it can
explain the broad features of the observed current.