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On the Deterministic Prediction of Water Waves

Klein, Marco; Dudek, Matthias; Clauss, Günther F.; Ehlers, Sören; Behrendt, Jasper; Hoffmann, Norbert; Onorato, Miguel

Inst. Land- und Seeverkehr (ILS)

This paper discusses the potential of deterministic wave prediction as one basic module for decision support of offshore operations. Therefore, methods of different complexity—the linear wave solution, the non-linear Schrödinger equation (NLSE) of two different orders and the high-order spectral method (HOSM)—are presented in terms of applicability and limitations of use. For this purpose, irregular sea states with varying parameters are addressed by numerical simulations as well as model tests in the controlled environment of a seakeeping basin. The irregular sea state investigations focuses on JONSWAP spectra with varying wave steepness and enhancement factor. In addition, the influence of the propagation distance as well as the forecast horizon is discussed. For the evaluation of the accuracy of the prediction, the surface similarity parameter is used, allowing an exact, quantitative validation of the results. Based on the results, the pros and cons of the different deterministic wave prediction methods are discussed. In conclusion, this paper shows that the classical NLSE is not applicable for deterministic wave prediction of arbitrary irregular sea states compared to the linear solution. However, the application of the exact linear dispersion operator within the linear dispersive part of the NLSE increased the accuracy of the prediction for small wave steepness significantly. In addition, it is shown that non-linear deterministic wave prediction based on second-order NLSE as well as HOSM leads to a substantial improvement of the prediction quality for moderate and steep irregular wave trains in terms of individual waves and prediction distance, with the HOSM providing a high accuracy over a wider range of applications.