Numerical simulation of wave refraction-diffraction in the Pearl River Estuary

Y. Chen, Wing Hong Onyx Wai, Yok Sheung Li

Research output: Chapter in book / Conference proceedingConference article published in proceeding or bookAcademic researchpeer-review


A combined wave refraction-diffraction numerical model based on the wave energy budget equation was presented. An operator splitting scheme was used to solve the wave energy equations in which the Eulerian-Lagrangian method was applied to the advection terms to increase numerical stability and the other terms were discretized by finite element method. A wave energy dissipation term was employed to increase numerical accuracy. The numerical results of wave diffraction were compared with analytical results and laboratory results. Wave diffraction coefficient was recommended to be 1. Two sets of laboratory data were selected for comparison with the predictions from the numerical model with large spatial step, and good agreement was obtained in both cases. The numerical model could be used to simulate wave condition in large coastal areas. After verifications against laboratory data, the model was applied to predict wave conditions in Pearl River Estuary (PRE) in which there are many islands and bays. Some field wave data in the Hong Kong coastal area were collected to verify the wave model as well. The model results of wave distributions in PRE were reasonable. The numerical wave model could be used to predict the wave climate in large coastal areas with complex configuration. This is an abstract of a paper presented at the 10th International Offshore and Polar Engineering Conference (Seattle, WA 5/28/2000-6/2/2000).
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationProceedings of the International Offshore and Polar Engineering Conference
Number of pages8
Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec 2000
EventProceedings of the Tenth (2000) International Offshore and Polar Engineering Conference, ISOPE 2000 - Seattle, WA, United States
Duration: 28 May 20002 Jun 2000


ConferenceProceedings of the Tenth (2000) International Offshore and Polar Engineering Conference, ISOPE 2000
Country/TerritoryUnited States
CitySeattle, WA


  • Eulerian-Lagrangian method
  • Finite element method
  • Operation splitting schemer
  • Pearl River Estuary
  • Wave energy budget equation
  • Wave refraction-diffraction

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Energy Engineering and Power Technology
  • Ocean Engineering
  • Mechanical Engineering

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