Momentum balance across a barrier reef

Type Article
Date 2020-02
Language English
Author(s) Sous D.1, 2, Dodet Guillaume3, Bouchette F.4, 5, Tissier M6
Affiliation(s) 1 : Université de Toulon, Aix Marseille Université, CNRS, IRD, Mediterranean Institute of Oceanography (MIO) La Garde ,France
2 : Univ Pau & Pays Adour/E2S UPPA, Chaire HPC‐WavesLaboratoire des Sciences de l’Ingénieur Appliquées a la Méchanique et au Génie Electrique ‐ Fédération IPRA ANGLET ,France
3 : IFREMER, Univ. Brest, CNRS, IRD, Laboratoire d'Océanographie Physique et Spatiale (LOPS), IUEM Brest ,France
4 : GEOSCIENCES‐Montpellier Univ Montpellier, CNRS Montpellier, France
5 : GLADYS Le Grau du Roi Occitanie, France
6 : Environmental Fluid Mechanics Section, Faculty of Civil Engineering and Geosciences Delft University of Technology Delft ,The Netherlands
Source Journal Of Geophysical Research-oceans (2169-9275) (American Geophysical Union (AGU)), 2020-02 , Vol. 125 , N. 2 , P. e2019JC015503 (24p.)
DOI 10.1029/2019JC015503
WOS© Times Cited 2

This paper reports on a combined experimental and numerical study dedicated to barrier reefs hydrodynamics. A network of pressure sensors and velocity profilers has been deployed for more than two months over the Ouano reef barrier, New Caledonia. The primary aim of the study is to assess the relevance of the classical depth‐averaged momentum balance in such a complex and poorly documented environment. The combined analysis of experimental and numerical measurements reveals a specific hydrodynamic behaviour contrasting with sandy beaches and fringing reefs. The cross‐reef current induced by wave breaking over the barrier reef plays an important role in the momentum budget, in particular through friction processes. The hydrodynamic behaviour over the barrier reef is thus characterized by the progressive transition from a nearly classical beach type behaviour on the forereef, where the gradient of radiation stress is balanced by a barotropic pressure gradient associated to the wave setup, to an open‐channel type regime, dominated by frictional head loss. The reef top wave setup shows a clear depth‐dependency mainly attributed to the forereef curvature. During extreme wave events, the measurements tend to indicate a transition toward a critical hydraulic regime above the reef top. The numerical simulations, involving a non‐hydrostatic wave‐resolving model coupled to a K‐ϵ turbulence model, highlight the vertical structure of the flow. Over the reef flat, a classical log‐layer profile is observed, in agreement with measurements, while above the forereef an anti‐clockwise circulation develops under the breaking zone.

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