Recently, a method for numerical reproduction of measured irregular wave events has been developed. The measured motion of the wave maker flaps defines the wave kinematics at the boundary of the numerical simulation in order to generate the waves. When such data are not available, the control signal of the wave maker can, instead, be generated from a given free surface elevation following the same procedure as in model tests. This procedure is applied to a model test case with extreme irregular wave events and resulting nonlinear global wave loads on a vertical cylinder, focusing on higher-order ringing excitation. The purpose of the investigation is twofold: (1) to validate the wave reconstruction procedure and (2) to validate the resulting computational fluid dynamics (CFD) ringing loads with the given waves. In order to better understand the frequency content in the CFD-generated loads, wavelet analysis as well as the response of a single degree-of-freedom (SDOF) oscillator is examined and compared with the corresponding results for the third-order wave forcing based on the MacCamy–Fuchs (MF) and Faltinsen, Newman, Vinje (FNV) formulations. The results show generally good agreement between CFD and experiment both in the waves and in the loads; discrepancies found in the loads mainly originate from corresponding uncertainties in the wave reconstruction. Wave breaking may be one source of uncertainty. The MF + FNV formulation showed reasonable prediction of the maximum responses of an SDOF oscillator, but could not capture the loads well at all of the important frequencies.

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