Models for nonlinear water waves on shear currents

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

7 Scopus citations


In offshore design, currents must be included in the wave force design procedure as they always are present due to the actions of the wind, tidal forces, and oceanic circulation. The neglect of these currents can result in the under-design of a structure; for instance, if the maximum velocity under a design wave is 16 fps, the inclusion of a 2 fps current component will increase the drag force by 25%. A 3 fps current component will increase the drag force by over 40%. However, most wave force design procedures neglect the current, use a constant current over depth, or, as used by Hall (1972), superimpose current profiles over the wave velocity field generated in the absence of a current. In this paper, two wave models are provided for the computer generation of a design (symmetric) wave of given height, H, wave period, T, in a known water depth, h, which propagates on an ambient current which has a velocity profile over depth describable by two or three straight lines. These are the linear and the bilinear shear current models, respectively. These models represent an extension of the Stream Function wave theory described by Dean (1965), which generates a wave propagating on a current with a velocity profile which is constant in magnitude over the depth of the water. These extended models, which include more realistically the shape of the current profile, offer the design engineer a better capability to input accurate current data into the design procedures. As an example of the fits of the two current representations to a reasonable current velocity profile, Figure 1 is presented. One further advantage of these models is that they converge directly on a desired wave height.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationOffshore Technology Conference, OTC 1974
PublisherOffshore Technology Conference
Number of pages8
ISBN (Electronic)9781555636340
StatePublished - 1974
Event6th Annual Offshore Technology Conference, OTC 1974 - Houston, United States
Duration: May 6 1974May 8 1974

Publication series

NameProceedings of the Annual Offshore Technology Conference
ISSN (Print)0160-3663


Other6th Annual Offshore Technology Conference, OTC 1974
Country/TerritoryUnited States

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Safety, Risk, Reliability and Quality
  • Ocean Engineering
  • Energy Engineering and Power Technology
  • Mechanical Engineering


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