Computation of free surface waves in coastal waters with SWASH on unstructured grids

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This paper aims to present the extension of the non-hydrostatic wave-flow model SWASH with the covolume method to build discretization schemes on unstructured triangular grids. Central to this method that is free of spurious pressure modes, is the use of dual pairs of meshes that are mutually orthogonal, such as the Delaunay-Voronoi mesh systems. The approximants sought are the components of the flow velocity vector normal to the cell faces of the primal mesh. In addition to the covolume approach, a novel upwind difference scheme for the horizontal advection terms in the momentum equation is proposed. This scheme obeys the Rankine-Hugoniot jump relations and prevents the odd-even decoupling of the velocity field accordingly. Moreover, cases with flow discontinuities, such as steady bores and broken waves, are properly treated. In spite of the low-order accuracy of the proposed method, unstructured meshes easily allow for local refinement in a way that retains the desired accuracy. The unstructured-grid version of SWASH is applicable to a wide range of 2DH wave-flow problems to investigate the nonlinear dynamics of free surface waves over varying bathymetries. Its efficiency and robustness is tested on a number of these problems employing unstructured triangular meshes.

Original languageEnglish
Article number104751
Number of pages13
JournalComputers and Fluids
Publication statusPublished - 2020


  • Covolume discretization
  • Finite difference
  • Nearshore waves
  • Shallow water flow
  • Triangular mesh

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