Reflection and transmission from porous structures under oblique wave attack

Miguel A. Losada, P. A. Martin, Robert A. Dalrymple

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273 Scopus citations


The linear theory for water waves impinging obliquely on a vertically sided porous structure is examined. For normal wave incidence, the reflection and transmission from a porous breakwater has been studied many times using eigenfunction expansions in the water region in front of the structure, within the porous medium, and behind the structure in the down-wave water region. For oblique wave incidence, the reflection and transmission coefficients are significantly altered and they are calculated here. Using a plane-wave assumption, which involves neglecting the evanescent eigenmodes that exist near the structure boundaries (to satisfy matching conditions), the problem can be reduced from a matrix problem to one which is analytic. The plane-wave approximation provides an adequate solution for the case where the damping within the structure is not too great. An important parameter in this problem is ɼ2= ω2h(s — if)/g, where (o is the wave angular frequency, h the constant water depth, g the acceleration due to gravity, and ƒ are parameters describing the porous medium. As the friction in the porous medium, ƒ, becomes non-zero, the eigenfunctions differ from those in the fluid regions, largely owing to the change in the modal wavenumbers, which depend on ƒ"2. For an infinite number of values of ɼ2, there are no eigenfunction expansions in the porous medium, owing to the coalescence of two of the wavenumbers. These cases are shown to result in a non-separable mathematical problem and the appropriate wave modes are determined. As the two wavenumbers approach the critical value of ɼ2, it is shown that the wave modes can swap their identity.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)625-644
Number of pages20
JournalJournal of fluid Mechanics
StatePublished - Mar 1991

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Mechanics of Materials
  • Mechanical Engineering


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