An optimized quadratic formulation for spectral prediction of coastal waves

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Spectral information of coastal waves and the associated statistical parameters (e.g., the significant wave height and mean wave period) over large spatial scales is essential for many applications (e.g., coastal safety assessments, coastal management and developments, etc.). This demand explains the necessity for accurate yet effective models. A well-known efficient modelling approach is the quadratic approach (often referred to as frequency-domain models, weakly nonlinear mild-slope models, amplitude models, etc.). The efficiency of this approach is achieved through modelling reduction of the original governing equations (e.g., Euler equations). Most significantly, wave nonlinearity is described solely by a single quadratic mode-coupling term. Therefore, doubts arise with regard to the predictive capabilities of the quadratic approach to reliably describe the nonlinear development of waves in the coastal environment where nonlinearity is typically significant. This study attempts to push the limit of the prediction capabilities of nonlinear coastal waves based on the quadratic approach. To this end, an optimization process is proposed, striving to extract the quadratic formulation which describes most adequately nonlinear wave developments over water depths and bathymetrical structures which characterize the coastal environment. The outcome is the model QuadWave1D: a fully dispersive quadratic model for coastal wave prediction in one-dimension. Based on a wide set of examples (including monochromatic, bichromatic and irregular wave conditions) and comparing to other representative quadratic formulations, it is found that QuadWave1D presents superior predictive capabilities of both the sea-swell components and the infragravity field.