Velocity, acceleration and vorticity under a breaking wave

Kuang An Chang, Philip L.F. Liu

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

121 Citations (Scopus)


The fluid particle velocities in the overturning jet of a breaking wave have been measured by the Particle Image Velocimetry (PIV) technique. Monochromatic waves with wave height of 14.5 cm and wavelength of 121 cm were generated in the water depth of 20 cm. The measured fluid particle velocity at the tip of the overturning jet reached 1.68 times of the phase velocity calculated from the linear wave theory. Fluid particle accelerations were estimated from the velocity data with the following results: The overturning jet enters the horizontal water surface with an acceleration of 1.1 g at an angle of 88° downward. The PIV technique was also used to measure the instantaneous vertical vorticities generated by breaking waves. The number and locations of the vortices on the horizontal plane appear to be random. The maximum instantaneous vorticity was in the order of magnitude of 20-30 s-1, whereas the ensemble-averaged vorticity was quite small.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)327-329
Number of pages3
JournalPhysics of Fluids
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1998 Jan

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Computational Mechanics
  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Mechanics of Materials
  • Mechanical Engineering
  • Fluid Flow and Transfer Processes


Dive into the research topics of 'Velocity, acceleration and vorticity under a breaking wave'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this