Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Civil and Environmental Engineering

Document Type



The primary objective of this study is twofold: 1) to develop an efficient and accurate non-hydrostatic wave model for fully dispersive highly nonlinear waves, and 2) to investigate the interaction between waves and submerged flexible vegetation using a fully coupled wave-vegetation model. This research consists of three parts. Firstly, an analytical dispersion relationship is derived for waves simulated by models utilizing Keller-box scheme and central differencing for vertical discretization. The phase speed can be expressed as a rational polynomial function of the dimensionless water depth, $kh$, and the layer distribution in water column becomes an optimizable parameter in this function. For a given tolerance dispersion error, the range of $kh$ is extended and the layer thicknesses are optimally selected. The derived theoretical dispersion relationship is tested with linear and nonlinear standing waves generated by an Euler model. The optimization method is applicable to other non-hydrostatic models for water waves. Secondly, an efficient and accurate approach is developed to solve Euler equations for fully dispersive and highly nonlinear water waves. Discontinuous Galerkin, finite difference, and spectral element formulations are used for horizontal discretization, vertical discretization, and the Poisson equation, respectively. The Keller-box scheme is adopted for its capability of resolving frequency dispersion accurately with low vertical resolution (two or three layers). A three-stage optimal Strong Stability-Preserving Runge-Kutta (SSP-RK) scheme is employed for time integration. Thirdly, a fully coupled wave-vegetation model for simulating the interaction between water waves and submerged flexible plants is presented. The complete governing equation for vegetation motion is solved with a high-order finite element method and an implicit time differencing scheme. The vegetation model is fully coupled with a wave model to explore the relationship between displacement of water particle and plant stem, as well as the effect of vegetation flexibility on wave attenuation. This vegetation deformation model can be coupled with other wave models to simulate wave-vegetation interactions.



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Committee Chair

Chen, Qin