Wave Breaking in Undular Bores with Shear Flows
Journal article, Peer reviewed
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Original versionWater Waves. 2021, 3, 473-490. 10.1007/s42286-020-00046-6
It is well known that weak hydraulic jumps and bores develop a growing number of surface oscillations behind the bore front. Defining the bore strength as the ratio of the head of the undular bore to the undisturbed depth, it was found in the classic work of Favre (Ondes de Translation. Dunod, Paris, 1935) that the regime of laminar flow is demarcated from the regime of partially turbulent flows by a sharply defined value 0.281. This critical bore strength is characterized by the eventual breaking of the leading wave of the bore front. Compared to the flow depth in the wave flume, the waves developing behind the bore front are long and of small amplitude, and it can be shown that the situation can be described approximately using the well known Kortweg–de Vries equation. In the present contribution, it is shown that if a shear flow is incorporated into the KdV equation, and a kinematic breaking criterion is used to test whether the waves are spilling, then the critical bore strength can be found theoretically within an error of less than ten percent.