In wave basin model test of an offshore structure, waves that represent the given sea states have to be generated, qualified and accepted for the model test. For seakeeping and stationkeeping model tests, we normally accept waves in wave calibration tests if the significant wave height, spectral peak period and spectrum match the specified target values. However, for model tests where the responses depend highly on the local wave motions (wave elevation and kinematics) such as wave impact, green water impact on deck and air gap tests, additional qualification checks may be required. For instance, we may need to check wave crest probability distributions to avoid unrealistic wave crest in the test. To date, acceptance criteria of wave crest distribution calibration tests of large and steep waves of three-hour duration (full scale) have not been established.

The purpose of the work presented in the paper is to provide a semi-empirical nonlinear wave crest distribution of three-hour duration for practical use, i.e. as an acceptance criterion for wave calibration tests. The semi-empirical formulas proposed in this paper were developed through regression analysis of a large number of fully nonlinear wave crest distributions. Wave time series from potential flow simulations, computational fluid dynamics (CFD) simulations and model test results were used to establish the probability distribution. The wave simulations were performed for three-hour duration assuming that they were long-crested. The sea states are assumed to be represented by JONSWAP spectrum, where a wide range of significant wave height, peak period, spectral peak parameter, and water depth were considered. Coefficients of the proposed semi-empirical formulas, comparisons among crest distributions from wave calibration tests, numerical simulations and the semi-empirical formulas are presented in this paper.

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