In this paper, the design of a circular wave pool that produces continuously breaking waves is discussed, whereby a pressure source is rotated within an annular wave pool. The concept was that the pressure source generates non-breaking waves that propagate inward to the inner ring of the annulus, where a sloping bathymetry (beach) triggers wave breaking. In order to refine the technique, research was conducted to better understand the mechanics of waves generated by moving pressure sources in a constrained waterway, the transformation of these waves as they travel across the channel and the effect of the sloping beach on the wave quality for surfing.

The quality of the waves was defined in terms of wave height, speed and shape, with the aim to create plunging waves, known as “barrels”, that are highly desired by surfers.

A predominantly experimental approach was undertaken to determine the required design parameter values and their limitations. Scale model experimental results were previously presented at OMAE 2011 and OMAE2013.

This paper presents the steps to design the pool using the empirical analysis and experimental results are presented. The effect of the pressure source and pool bathymetry on the currents formed in the pool, are also presented. Through this design process, high quality continuous breaking waves with the desired plunging shape were able to be generated.

Finally, the authors are planning to use the facilities and techniques developed to investigate the complexities of predefined wave fields, including the three dimensional (3D) details of the velocity, pressure and turbulence fields beneath. Understanding these complexities within multidimensional wave patterns is the key to analysing a number of different fields, including wave resistance of ships; wave disturbances to other maritime users; bank erosion; wave signal tracking; and wave structure interaction.

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