Wind-wave coupling study using LES of wind and phase-resolved simulation of nonlinear waves

Xuanting Hao, Lian Shen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

32 Scopus citations


We present a study on the interaction between wind and water waves with a broad-band spectrum using wave-phase-resolved simulation with long-term wave field evolution. The wind turbulence is computed using large-eddy simulation and the wave field is simulated using a high-order spectral method. Numerical experiments are carried out for turbulent wind blowing over a wave field initialised using the Joint North Sea Wave Project spectrum, with various wind speeds considered. The results show that the waves, together with the mean wind flow and large turbulent eddies, have a significant impact on the wavenumber-frequency spectrum of the wind turbulence. It is found that the shear stress contributed by sweep events in turbulent wind is greatly enhanced as a result of the waves. The dependence of the wave growth rate on the wave age is consistent with the results in the literature. The probability density function and high-order statistics of the wave surface elevation deviate from the Gaussian distribution, manifesting the nonlinearity of the wave field. The shape of the change in the spectrum of wind-waves resembles that of the nonlinear wave-wave interactions, indicating the dominant role played by the nonlinear interactions in the evolution of the wave spectrum. The frequency downshift phenomenon is captured in our simulations wherein the wind-forced wave field evolves for peak wave periods. Using the numerical result, we compute the universal constant in a wave-growth law proposed in the literature, and substantiate the scaling of wind-wave growth based on intrinsic wave properties.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)391-425
Number of pages35
JournalJournal of Fluid Mechanics
StatePublished - Sep 10 2019

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2019 Cambridge University Press.


  • air/sea interactions
  • surface gravity waves
  • wind-wave interactions


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