Boundary-Layer Meteorology

, Volume 138, Issue 1, pp 1–41

Coupled Numerical Modelling of Wind and Waves and the Theory of the Wave Boundary Layer


DOI: 10.1007/s10546-010-9543-7

Cite this article as:
Chalikov, D. & Rainchik, S. Boundary-Layer Meteorol (2011) 138: 1. doi:10.1007/s10546-010-9543-7


The description of a coupled wind and wave model in conformal coordinates is given. The wave model is based on potential equations for the flow with a free surface, extended with the algorithm of breaking dissipation. The wave boundary-layer (WBL) model is based on the Reynolds equations with the Kε closure scheme with the solutions for air and water matched through the interface. The structure of the WBL and vertical profiles of the wave-produced momentum flux (WPMF) in a long-term simulation of the coupled dynamics are investigated and parameterized. The shape of the β function connecting elevation and surface pressure is studied up to high nondimensional wave frequencies. The errors of a linear presentation of the surface pressure are estimated. The β function and the universal shape of the WPMF profile obtained in coupled simulations allow a formulation of the one-dimensional theory of the WBL, and the carrying out of a detailed study of the WBL structure including the dependence of the drag coefficient on the wind speed. It is shown that a wide scatter of the experimental data on the drag coefficient can be explained, taking into account the age of waves. It is suggested that a reduction of the drag coefficient at high wind speeds can be qualitatively explained by the high-frequency wave suppression.


Boundary layerNumerical modellingSea wavesWind–wave interaction

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© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Faculty of Engineering and Industrial SciencesSwinburne University of TechnologyHawthornAustralia
  2. 2.P.P. Shirshov Institute of Oceanography, RAS, St. Petersburg BranchSt. PetersburgRussia
  3. 3.Russian State Hydrometeorological UniversitySt. PetersburgRussia