Volume 42 Issue 12
Dec.  2023
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Hong Wang, Zhan Hu. Modeling wave attenuation by vegetation with accompanying currents in SWAN[J]. Acta Oceanologica Sinica, 2023, 42(12): 63-76. doi: 10.1007/s13131-023-2199-1
Citation: Hong Wang, Zhan Hu. Modeling wave attenuation by vegetation with accompanying currents in SWAN[J]. Acta Oceanologica Sinica, 2023, 42(12): 63-76. doi: 10.1007/s13131-023-2199-1

Modeling wave attenuation by vegetation with accompanying currents in SWAN

doi: 10.1007/s13131-023-2199-1
Funds:  The National Natural Science Foundation of China under contract No. 42176202; the Innovation Group Project of Southern Marine Science and Engineering Guangdong Laboratory (Zhuhai) under contract No. 311021004; the Guangdong Provincial Department of Science and Technology under contract No. 2019ZT08G090; the 111 Project under contract No. B21018.
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  • Corresponding author: E-mail: huzh9@mail.sysu.edu.cn
  • Received Date: 2022-06-15
  • Accepted Date: 2022-10-02
  • Available Online: 2023-07-13
  • Publish Date: 2023-12-01
  • Coastal wetlands such as salt marshes and mangroves provide important protection against stormy waves. Accurate assessments of wetlands’ capacity in wave attenuation are required to safely utilize their protection services. Recent studies have shown that tidal currents have a significant impact on wetlands’ wave attenuation capacity, but such impact has been rarely considered in numerical models, which may lead to overestimation of wave attenuation in wetlands. This study modified the SWAN (Simulating Waves Nearshore) model to account for the effect of accompanying currents on vegetation-induced wave dissipation. Furthermore, this model was extended to include automatically derived vegetation drag coefficients, spatially varying vegetation height, and Doppler Effect in combined current-wave flows. Model evaluation against an analytical model and flume data shows that the modified model can accurately simulate wave height change in combined current-wave flows. Subsequently, we applied the new model to a mangrove wetland on Hailing Island in China with a special focus on the effect of currents on wave dissipation. It is found that the currents can either increase or decrease wave attenuation depending on the ratio of current velocity to the amplitude of the horizontal wave orbital velocity, which is in good agreement with field observations. Lastly, we used Hailing Island site as an example to simulate wave attenuation by vegetation under hypothetical storm surge conditions. Model results indicate that when currents are 0.08–0.15 m/s and the incident wave height is 0.75–0.90 m, wetlands’ wave attenuation capacity can be reduced by nearly 10% compared with pure wave conditions, which provides implications for critical design conditions for coastal safety. The obtained results and the developed model are valuable for the design and implementation of wetland-based coastal defense. The code of the developed model has been made open source, in the hope to assist further research and coastal management.
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