ICCE 2022

How to Cite

RELATING WAVE GEOMETRY AND SURFACE DYNAMICS TO SUBSURFACE VELOCITIES. (2023). Coastal Engineering Proceedings, 37, management.79.


Quantifying subsurface velocity in the surf-zone beneath shoaling/breaking/broken waves is critical to accurately predict nearshore processes such as sediment transport [Hsu and Hanes, 2004]. The in-situ instruments designed to measure this velocity where waves break, such as velocimeters, routinely get buried, broken, or lost in the surf-zone. This limits our ability to collect field datasets of subsurface velocity in energetic wave conditions. To address this, we propose to build on known relationships that link subsurface velocity behavior to more easily observable surface signatures. Here, we collect the necessary surface and subsurface data to test the hypothesis that surf-zone surface measurements can predict subsurface velocity profiles extending to the bed.


Alagan Chella, Mayilvahanan, et al. “Characteristics and Profile Asymmetry Properties of Waves Breaking over an Impermeable Submerged Reef.” Coastal Engineering, vol. 100, June 2015, pp. 26–36.

Blenkinsopp, C. E., and J. R. Chaplin. “The Effect of Relative Crest Submergence on Wave Breaking over Submerged Slopes.” Coastal Engineering, vol. 55, no. 12, Dec. 2008, pp. 967–74.

Brodie, K. L., et al. “Lidar and Pressure Measurements of Inner-Surfzone Waves and Setup.” Journal of Atmospheric and Oceanic Technology, vol. 32, no. 10, Oct. 2015, pp. 1945–59.

Brodie, Katherine L., et al. “Evaluation of Video-Based Linear Depth Inversion Performance and Applications Using Altimeters and Hydrographic Surveys in a Wide Range of Environmental Conditions.” Coastal Engineering, vol. 136, June 2018, pp. 147–60.

Camenen, Benoît, and Magnus Larson. “PredictiveFormulas for Breaker Depth Index and Breaker Type.” Journal of Coastal Research, vol. 23, no. 4, 2007, pp. 1028–41.

Craig, Peter D. “Velocity Profiles and Surface Roughness under Breaking Waves.” Journal of Geophysical Research: Oceans, vol. 101, no. C1, 1996, pp. 1265–77.

Elgar, Steve, et al. “Nearshore Sandbar Migration.” Journal of Geophysical Research: Oceans, vol. 106, no. C6, 2001, pp. 11623–27.

FAU SNMREC, measurement-modeling/available-data.html

Hsu, Tian-Jian, and Daniel M. Hanes. “Effects of Wave Shape on Sheet Flow Sediment Transport.” Journal of Geophysical Research: Oceans, vol. 109, no. C5, 2004.

O’Dea, Annika, et al. “Field Observations of the Evolution of Plunging-Wave Shapes.” Geophysical Research Letters, vol. 48, no. 16, 2021, p. e2021GL093664.

Romero, Julio (2021) 10.3 Waves on the Shore, Introduction to Oceanography.

Sakai, Tetsuo, and Yuichi Iwagaki. “ESTIMATION OF WATER PARTICLE VELOCITY OF BREAKING WAVE.” Coastal Engineering Proceedings, no. 16, 16, Jan. 1978, pp. 31–31.

Thielicke, William, and Rene Sonntag. “Particle Image Velocimetry for MATLAB: Accuracy and Enhanced Algorithms in PIVlab.” Journal of Open Research Software, vol. 9, May 2021.

Veeramony, J., and I. A. Svendsen. “The Flow in Surf-Zone Waves.” Coastal Engineering, vol. 39, no. 2, Mar. 2000, pp. 93–122.

Creative Commons License

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.

Copyright (c) 2023 Tyler McCormack, Julia Hopkins