Physical and numerical modelling of tsunami generation by a moving obstacle at the bottom boundary
This paper presents a study of the waves generated by a solid block landslide moving along a horizontal boundary. The landslide was controlled using a mechanical system in a series of physical experiments, and laser-induced fluorescence measurements resolved both spatial and temporal variations in the free surface elevation. During its constant-velocity motion, the landslide transferred energy into ‘trapped’ offshore-propagating waves within a narrow frequency band. The wave trapping is demonstrated by investigating the wave dispersion characteristics using a two-dimensional Fourier Transform. The first of the trailing waves broke at Froude numbers greater than or equal to 0.625. The parametric dependence of the largest-amplitude waves and the potential energy within the wave field are discussed. The experimental results were compared to the predictions of an incompressible Navier–Stokes solver with and without turbulence models. The numerical model under-predicted the measured wave amplitudes, although it accurately predicted the measured wave phasing. The turbulent model more accurately predicted the shapes of the trailing waves. Both experimental and numerical results confirmed that investigations into wave generation by submerged objects moving at constant velocity should also consider the initial acceleration of the object, as this affects the overall evolution of the wave field. The applicability of the horizontal-boundary results to more realistic field scenarios is discussed.