Modelling realistic breaking waves

Started: October 2016
Supervisor: Christou, M.

Description of Research

Wave breaking is an area of active research and probably one of the least understood topics in wave mechanics due to its complex nature. This complexity is given by the different length scales of turbulent eddies forming and the interaction between two phases, among others. The entrainment of air bubbles within the water fraction causes the formation of white-capping. The interaction between the two fluid phases contributes to the exchange of gas, energy and momentum between the ocean and atmosphere. The exchange of CO2 and other gasses between the atmosphere and the ocean via wave breaking is an important process in global climate change. To understand the physics that underlie the breaking process, the scientific community have used multiple approaches. In the past decades, Perlin et al. (2013) notes that most progress was made in understanding the geometry of breaking waves, its energy dissipation and the development of breaking onset criteria. The aim of the research project is to further the understanding of the process of wave breaking, to improve on the description of some wave breaking characteristics and to improve on the ability to predict these events within real seas and oceans. This will be achieved through a combination of numerical simulations and experimental investigations within the Hydrodynamics Laboratory at Imperial College London.


Constantin is a graduate with an MEng in Civil and Environmental Engineering from Imperial College London. 

Constantin Craciunescu

Constantin CraciunescuFluid Mechanics Research Student 
Department of Civil & Environmental Engineering 

Imperial College London SW7 2AZ