Geophysical Research Letters

Extreme wave runup on a vertical cliff

Authors


Corresponding author: F. Carbone, School of Mathematical Sciences, University College of Dublin, Dublin, Ireland. (francesco.carbone@ucd.ie)

Abstract

[1] Wave impact and runup onto vertical obstacles are among the most important phenomena which must be taken into account in the design of coastal structures. From linear wave theory, we know that the wave amplitude on a vertical wall is twice the incident wave amplitude with weakly nonlinear theories bringing small corrections to this result. In this present study, however, we show that certain simple wave groups may produce much higher runups than previously predicted, with particular incident wave frequencies resulting in runup heights exceeding the initial wave amplitude by a factor of 5, suggesting that the notion of the design wave used in coastal structure design may need to be revisited. The results presented in this study can be considered as a note of caution for practitioners, on one side, and as a challenging novel material for theoreticians who work in the field of extreme wave-coastal structure interaction.

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