A numerical study of three-dimensional wave interaction with a square cylinder

Chi Wai Li, Pengzhi Lin

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

37 Citations (Scopus)


In this study, a three-dimensional numerical model is used to study the wave interaction with a vertical rectangular pile. The model employs the large eddy simulation (LES) method to model the effect of small-scale turbulence. The velocity and vorticity fields around the pile are presented and discussed. The drag and inertial coefficients are calculated based on the numerical computation. The calculated coefficients are found to be in a reasonable range compared with the experimental data. Additional analyses are performed to assess the relative importance of drag and initial effects, which could be quantified by the force-related Keulegan and Carpenter (KC) number: KCf=UT/(4πL). Here U is the maximum fluid particle velocity, T the wave period and L the length of structure aligned with the wave propagation direction. For small KCf, the effective drag coefficient is proportional to 1/KCf, provided the wavelength is much longer than the structural length. When wavelength is comparable to the structure dimension, the effective drag coefficient would be reduced significantly due the cancellation of forces, which has been demonstrated by numerical results.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1545-1555
Number of pages11
JournalOcean Engineering
Issue number12
Publication statusPublished - 6 Aug 2001


  • Large eddy simulation (LES)
  • Numerical model
  • Square cylinder
  • Wave forces
  • Wave-structure interaction

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ocean Engineering
  • Environmental Engineering


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