Void fraction measurements and scale effects in breaking waves in freshwater and seawater

C.E. Blenkinsopp, J.R. Chaplin

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49 Citations (SciVal)


This paper follows from the work This paper follows from the work of Blenkinsopp and Chaplin (2007) and describes detailed measurements of the time-varying distribution of void fractions generated by breaking waves in freshwater, artificial seawater and natural seawater under laboratory conditions, along with flow visualisation of the entrainment process. The measurements were made with highly sensitive optical fibre phase detection probes and the results demonstrate that although an additional population of fine (d < 0.3 mm) bubbles existed in the seawater cases, the total volume and distribution of entrained air, and the spatial and temporal evolution of the bubble plumes were very similar in all three water types. The influence of water type may be relatively insignificant, but a numerical bubble tracking model shows that the effect of scale is an important consideration when modelling the post-entrainment evolution of breaker-entrained bubble plumes. Consequently the results suggest that while the use of freshwater in laboratory models of oceanic processes can be considered valid in most situations, the effect of scale may impact interpretation of the results.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)417-428
Number of pages12
JournalCoastal Engineering
Issue number5
Early online date22 Jan 2011
Publication statusPublished - 1 May 2011


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