An inter-model comparison for wave interactions with sea dikes on shallow foreshores

Vincent Gruwez*, Corrado Altomare, Tomohiro Suzuki, Maximilian Streicher, Lorenzo Cappietti, Andreas Kortenhaus, Peter Troch

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)
13 Downloads (Pure)


Three open source wave models are applied in 2DV to reproduce a large-scale wave flume experiment of bichromatic wave transformations over a steep-sloped dike with a mildly-sloped and very shallow foreshore: (i) the Reynolds-averaged Navier–Stokes equations solver interFoam of OpenFOAM® (OF), (ii) the weakly compressible smoothed particle hydrodynamics model DualSPHysics (DSPH) and (iii) the non-hydrostatic nonlinear shallow water equations model SWASH. An inter-model comparison is performed to determine the (standalone) applicability of the three models for this specific case, which requires the simulation of many processes simultaneously, including wave transformations over the foreshore and wave-structure interactions with the dike, promenade and vertical wall. A qualitative comparison is done based on the time series of the measured quantities along the wave flume, and snapshots of bore interactions on the promenade and impacts on the vertical wall. In addition, model performance and pattern statistics are employed to quantify the model differences. The results show that overall, OF provides the highest model skill, but has the highest computational cost. DSPH is shown to have a reduced model performance, but still comparable to OF and for a lower computational cost. Even though SWASH is a much more simplified model than both OF and DSPH, it is shown to provide very similar results: SWASH exhibits an equal capability to estimate the maximum quasi-static horizontal impact force with the highest computational efficiency, but does have an important model performance decrease compared to OF and DSPH for the force impulse.

Original languageEnglish
Article number985
Pages (from-to)1-37
Number of pages37
JournalJournal of Marine Science and Engineering
Issue number12
Publication statusPublished - 2020


  • Dike-mounted vertical wall
  • DualSPHysics
  • Inter-model comparison
  • OpenFOAM
  • Shallow foreshore
  • Wave impact loads
  • Wave modelling


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