Characterizing wave shape evolution on an ebb-tidal shoal

Floris de Wit*, Marion Tissier, Ad Reniers

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

12 Citations (Scopus)
75 Downloads (Pure)


Field measurements of waves and currents were obtained at ten locations on an ebb-tidal shoal seaward of Ameland Inlet for a six-week period. These measurements were used to investigate the evolution of the near-bed velocity skewness and asymmetry, as these are important drivers for wave-induced sediment tranport. Wave shape parameters were compared to traditionally used parameterizations to quantify their performance in a dynamic area with waves and tidal currents coming in from different directions over a highly variable bathymetry. Spatially and temporally averaged, these parameterizations compared very well to observed wave shape. However, significant scatterwas observed. The largest deviations fromthe parameterizationwere observed at the shallowest locations, where the contribution of wave-induced sediment transport was expected to be the largest. This paper shows that this scatter was caused by differences in wave-breaking, nonlinear energy transfer rate, and spatial gradients in tidal currents. Therefore, it is proposed to include the prior evolution of the wave before reaching a location in future parameterizations in numerical modeling instead of only using local parameters to predict wave shape.

Original languageEnglish
Article number367
Number of pages20
JournalJournal of Marine Science and Engineering
Issue number10
Publication statusPublished - 2019


  • Asymmetry
  • Ebb-tidal shoal
  • Field measurements
  • Skewness
  • Ursell number
  • Wave shape


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