The accuracy of a wave model for simulating waves in deep and coastal areas is highly determined by the dispersive properties as well as by the nonlinearity of the model. The Variational Boussinesq Model (VBM) for waves [1–4], available publicly as HAWASSI-VBM software [5], is based on the Hamiltonian structure of surface gravity waves. The model has tailor-made dispersive properties, which can be set to be sufficiently accurate for simulating a desired wave field. In this paper, we extend the nonlinear property of the HAWASSI-VBM from weakly nonlinear to be fully nonlinear. To show the improvement in nonlinearity, simulations of the model with a Finite Element implementation is tested against laboratory experiments, of regular and irregular waves propagating above a submerged bar and the dam-break problem.

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