Finite element, adaptive spectral wave modelling

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Title: Finite element, adaptive spectral wave modelling
Authors: Adam, Alexandros
Item Type: Thesis or dissertation
Abstract: The ability to predict the wave climate has a great impact on a wide range of sectors, including coastal and offshore engineering, marine renewable energy and shipping. The state of the art in wave prediction is called spectral wave modelling and is based on a phase-averaged, spectral description of the sea-surface elevation. The governing equation, called the action balance equation, is five-dimensional and describes the generation, propagation and evolution of action density in geographic space, spectral space and time. Due to the multidimensional nature of the equation the feasible resolutions are restricted by the computational costs. The aim of this work is to propose schemes which can increase the range of possible resolutions in spectral wave modelling, with the use of adaptivity in space and angle. Thus, this work focuses on the development of an unstructured, adaptive finite element spectral wave model (Fluidity-SW). A sub-grid scale model for the spatial discretisation is used, which retains the stability of discontinuous systems, with continuous degrees of freedom. Then, a new framework for angular adaptivity is developed, with results in dynamic angular and spatial anisotropy of the angular mesh. Finally a spatially h−adaptive scheme is implemented, which can dynamically treat the spatial gradients of the solution fields. The resulting framework is thoroughly verified and validated in a wide range of test cases and realistic scenarios, against analytical solutions, wave measurements and the results obtained with the widely used SWAN model. Thus, the overall ability of the code to simulate surface gravity wind-waves in fixed and adaptive spatial and angular meshes is demonstrated.
Content Version: Open Access
Issue Date: Sep-2016
Date Awarded: Mar-2017
Supervisor: Piggot, Matthew
Department: Earth Science & Engineering
Publisher: Imperial College London
Qualification Level: Doctoral
Qualification Name: Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)
Appears in Collections:Earth Science and Engineering PhD theses

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