Applicability of Nonlinear Wavemaker Theory

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Generation of high-quality waves is essential when making numerical or physically model tests. When using a wavemaker theory outside the validity area, spurious waves are generated. In order to investigate the validity of different wave generation methods, new model test results are presented where linear and nonlinear wave generation theories are tested on regular and irregular waves. A simple modification to the second-order wavemaker theory is presented, which significantly reduces the generation of spurious waves when used outside its range of applicability. For highly nonlinear regular waves, only the ad-hoc unified wave generation based on stream function wave theory was found acceptable. For irregular waves, similar conclusions are drawn, but the modified second-order wavemaker method is more relevant. This is because the ad-hoc unified generation method for irregular waves requires the wave kinematics to be calculated by a numerical model, which might be quite time-consuming. Finally, a table is presented with the range of applicability for each wavemaker method for regular and irregular waves.
Original languageEnglish
Article number14
JournalJournal of Marine Science and Engineering
Issue number1
Number of pages15
Publication statusPublished - 14 Jan 2019
EventCoastlab18: 7th International Conference on the Application of Physical Modelling in Coastal and Port Engineering and Science - Santander, Spain
Duration: 22 May 201826 May 2018
Conference number: 7



Bibliographical note

Special Issue "Selected Papers from Coastlab18 Conference"


  • Linear waves
  • Nonlinear waves
  • Wavemaker theory
  • Wavemaker applicability

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