Study on boundary layer development and bottom shear stress beneath a tsunami

Nguyen Xuan Tinh, Hitoshi Tanaka

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

10 Citations (Scopus)


This paper presents a detailed investigation on unsteady effects in bottom boundary layer beneath a tsunami. In numerical simulation of tsunami, bottom shear stress has commonly been evaluated by using steady flow friction laws such as Manning equation, simply assuming that long-period wave motion satisfies quasi-steady flow conditions. However, the present study found that the behavior of tsunami-induced bottom boundary layer has an unsteady characteristics and acts similar to that induced by wind-generated waves even under long-period wave motion. As a result, bottom shear stress under tsunami is much larger than the estimation using steady friction coefficient due to a steep velocity gradient in the bottom boundary layer. Surprisingly, the steady flow friction law is not valid in almost the entire computational domain, from the source area to shallow region. This result highly coincides with the field measurement data obtained by Lacy group during the 2010 Chilean Tsunami at the Monterey Bay mouth in U.S. A correction coefficient is proposed to take into account unsteady effects in the conventional estimation method using a steady friction factor; this approach is validated by comparing with numerical simulation results using k-ω turbulence model.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)574-589
Number of pages16
JournalCoastal Engineering Journal
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2019 Oct 2


  • bottom boundary layer
  • bottom shear stress
  • k-ω turbulence model
  • steady friction factor
  • Tsunami
  • wave friction factor


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