This work concerns the numerical investigation of the impact of a wave on a square column. The wave is generated by a dam break in a wave tank. Two turbulence models were used: Large Eddy Simulations (LES) and Unsteady Reynolds Averaged Navier-Stokes (URANS). The numerical simulations were carried out using a finite volume approximation and the SIMPLE algorithm for the solution of the governing equations. Turbulence was modeled with the standard Smagorinsky-Lilly subgrid-model for the LES and the standard κ-ε model for the URANS. The results are validated against experimental data for the wave impact on a square column facing the flow. The results, especially for LES, show very good agreement between the predictions and experimental results. The overall accuracy of the LES, as expected, is superior to the URANS. However, if computational resources are limited, URANS can still provide satisfactory results for structural design.

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