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Acta Oceanol. Sin., 2016, Vol. 35, No. 1, P.

96105
DOI: 10.1007/s13131-016-0800-6
http://www.hyxb.org.cn
E-mail: hyxbe@263.net

The change characteristics of the calculated wind wave fields


near lateral boundaries with SWAN model
ZHANG Hongsheng1*, ZHAO Jiachen1, LI Penghui1, YUE Wenhan1, WANG Zhenxiang2
1 College of Ocean Science and Engineering, Shanghai Maritime University, Shanghai 201306, China

2 Yangtze River Estuary Investigation Bureau of Hydrology and Water Resource, Yangtze River Water Resource

Commission, Shanghai 200136, China


Received 13 February 2015; accepted 15 April 2015

The Chinese Society of Oceanography and Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2016

Abstract
Since the wind wave model Simulating Waves Nearshore (SWAN) cannot effectively simulate the wave fields near
the lateral boundaries, the change characteristics and the distortion ranges of calculated wave factors including
wave heights, periods, directions, and lengths near the lateral boundaries of calculation domain are carefully
studied in the case of different water depths and wind speeds respectively. The calculation results show that the
effects of the variety of water depth and wind speed on the modeled different wave factors near the lateral
boundaries are different. In the case of a certain wind speed, the greater the water depth is, the greater the
distortion range is. In the case of a certain water depth, the distortion ranges defined by the relative errors of wave
heights, periods, and lengths are different from those defined by the absolute errors of the corresponding wave
factors. Moreover, the distortion ranges defined by the relative errors decrease with the increase of wind speed;
whereas the distortion ranges defined by the absolute errors change a little with the variety of wind speed. The
distortion range of wave direction decreases with the increase of wind speed. The calculated wave factors near the
lateral boundaries with the SWAN model in the actual physical areas, such as Lake Taihu and Lake Dianshan
considered in this study, are indeed distorted if the calculation domains are not enlarged on the basis of actual
physical areas. Therefore, when SWAN is employed to calculate the wind wave fields near the shorelines of sea or
inland lakes, the appropriate approaches must be adopted to reduce the calculation errors.
Key words: SWAN model, wave factor, change characteristic, distortion range, water depth, wind speed, lateral
boundary
Citation: Zhang Hongsheng, Zhao Jiachen, Li Penghui, Yue Wenhan, Wang Zhenxiang. 2016. The change characteristics of the calculated
wind wave fields near lateral boundaries with SWAN model. Acta Oceanologica Sinica, 35(1): 96105, doi: 10.1007/s13131-016-0800-6

1 Introduction expected in the future (Ris et al., 1999). In fact, the SWAN model
After the pioneering work of Gelci et al. (1956), several ocean has been improved from different aspects by many researchers
wave models (e.g., The SWAMP Group, 1985; SWIM Group, 1985; (e.g., Holthuijsen et al., 2003; Hsu et al., 2005; van der West-
The WAMDI Group, 1988; Tolman, 1991) have been developed. huysen et al., 2007; Jia et al., 2010; Zijlema, 2010; Smith et al.,
These models are denoted as the first, second and third genera- 2011). Up till now, the latest version 41.01 has been released, and
tion wave models, depending on the level of parameterization of it is still in the process of improvement.
generation, dissipation and nonlinear wave-wave interactions In the SWAN model, it is presumed that all incoming wave
(Tolman, 1991). On the basis of WAM wave model (The WAMDI energy is absorbed by the lateral boundaries. This leads the cal-
Group, 1988), a third-generation spectral wave model (Simulat- culated wave heights near the lateral boundaries to be small. In
ing WAves Nearshore (SWAN)) has been developed to estimate fact, it is not certain for the wave energy near the lateral boundar-
wave conditions in small-scale, coastal regions by Booij et al. a- ies to be absorbed in practice. Therefore, the modeled wave
nd Ris et al. (1999). This model has been applied extensively in factors near the lateral boundaries are often distorted. The later-
coastal regions (e.g., Xu et al., 2000; Lin et al., 2002; Signell et al., al boundaries should be sufficiently far away from the area of in-
2005;Shi et al., 2006; Rogers et al., 2007; Rusu et al., 2011; Gorrell terest to avoid the calculation error propagating into the area of
et al., 2011; Zhang et al., 2013). It is also used to calculate the interest (Booij et al., 1999). In order to obtain the right wind wave
wind wave fields in inland lakes (e.g., Bottema and van Vledder, fields, the calculation domain should be larger than the area of
2009; Moeini and Etemad-Shahidi, 2009; Zhang et al., 2015). interest. The focus of this paper is on studying the change charac-
The SWAN model assembles all relevant processes of genera- teristics of wind wave factors near the lateral boundaries and the
tion, dissipation, and nonlinear wave-wave interactions. This distortion ranges in which the wind wave factors cannot be prop-
model is a synthesis of state-of-the-art formulations, but many erly modeled, in the case of different water depths and wind
questions are still open, and significant improvements may be speeds respectively. The SWAN model is briefly described In Sec-

Foundation item: The National Natural Science Foundation of China under contract No. 51079082; the Natural Science Foundation of
Shanghai City under contract No. 14ZR1419600; the Research Innovation Projects of 2013 Shanghai Postgraduate under contract No.
20131129; the Top Discipline Project of Shanghai Municipal Education Commission.
*Corresponding author, E-mail: hszhang@shmtu.edu.cn
ZHANG Hongsheng et al. Acta Oceanol. Sin., 2016, Vol. 35, No. 1, P. 96105 97

tion 2. In Section 3, the basic parameters of SWAN are chosen, along the centerline of calculation domain. The wind direction
and the effect of spatial resolution on distortion range is dis- was assumed to match the positive x- axis direction, and it was 0.
cussed. The effects of water depth and wind speed on the change The wind speed at 10 m height above the still water level, U10,
characteristics and distortion ranges of different wave factors was chosen as 10.0 m/s. In the x- and y-directions, three different
near the lateral boundaries are studied in Sections 4 and 5, re- grid sizes were set as 200.0, 500.0, and 1 000.0 m, and the corres-
spectively. ponding mesh numbers were 450450, 180180, and 9090 re-
In Section 6, the SWAN model is employed to calculate the spectively. In Fig. 1, the calculated wave heights along the sec-
wind wave fields in Lake Taihu and Lake Dianshan. The two tion of x=89.5 km, which have been developed fully, are shown in
lakes, which are located in southeast China, belong to the Lake the case of different grid sizes. In this figure, H represents the sig-
Taihu watershed, and their lateral boundaries are land. When the nificant wave heights. It is indicated that the modeled wave
SWAN model is employed to simulate the wind wave fields of the heights using the 500 m grid size matched those obtained using
two lakes, the characteristics of the calculated results near the the 200 m grid size, but the modeled wave heights using the 1 000
lateral boundaries are discussed in detail. Finally, the conclu- m grid size differed near the lateral boundaries. In order to save
sions are given is Section 6. computation time, the grid sizes were chosen as 500 m500 m in
the following cases considered.
2 Description of SWAN
The SWAN model is a famous third-generation wave model,
which has been developed to compute random, short-crested
waves in coastal regions with shallow water and ambient cur-
rents. It is a spectral wave model based on the action density bal-
ance equation (Booij et al., 1999; Ris et al., 1999). The SWAN
model contains a number of physical processes which add or
withdraw wave energy to or from the wave field. In Cartesian co-
ordinates, the governing equation is expressed as (Booij et al.,
1999):

@N @ @ @ @ s Fig. 1. Spatial distribution of the calculated wave heights
+ cx N + cy N + c N + cN = ; (1)
@t @x @y @ @ along the section of x=89.5 km for different grid sizes.

where N(, , x, y, t) is the wave action density as a function of in- 4 Effects of water depth on distortion range
trinsic frequency , direction , horizontal coordinates x and y, The water depth of calculation domain varies. When the wa-
and time t; cx, cy, c and c represent propagation velocity of ac- ter depth increases, the fetch at which the wind wave is de-
tion density in geographical x and y, frequency and direction veloped fully also increases. For example, for the case of U10=20
space, respectively, and they are calculated on the basis of linear m/s, the wind wave is not developed fully when the fetch is short-
wave theory; S represents the source and sink terms, and er than 95.0 km if h is set as 10.0 m; whereas the wind wave has
S=Sin+Sni+Sds, where Sin represents the effects of wind wave gen- been developed fully when the fetch is 50.0 km if h is set as 6.0 m.
eration, Sni represents the nonlinear triad and quadruplet wave- Therefore, the length of calculation domain was assumed as
wave interactions, Sds represents energy dissipation, including 120.0 km in the x-direction when the effects of water depth on
white capping, bottom friction, and wave breaking, respectively. distortion range were studied. Correspondingly, the mesh num-
bers were set as 240180. The water depths, h, were set as 1.0 m,
3 Basic case 2.0 m, , 10.0 m, respectively. The wind speed and wind direc-
All of the calculated cases in the present paper were run with tion were set as 20 m/s and 0, respectively. The modeled results
version 40.85 (The SWAN Team, 2013). The relevant parameters are shown in Fig. 2 for the case of h=10.0 m. In the figure, the ho-
were set as: the directional resolution was 10, and the number of rizontal coordinate is the dimensionless fetch, and the vertical
meshes was 36; the lowest and highest discrete frequencies were coordinate is the dimensionless significant wave height. The di-
0.08 and 1.0 Hz, respectively. When the above parameters were mensionless fetch Xe and the dimensionless significant wave
set, the common convention was referred. In the present study, e are as follows:
height H
the BSBT (Backward Space, Backward Time) scheme was chosen.
The stationary mode was run when the wind fields are independ- gX e gH
ent of time, whereas the non-stationary mode was run when the Xe = 2 ; H = 2 ; (2)
U10 U10
wind fields are dependent of time.
The water areas in nearshore region were considered, and
they are not very large. For example, the third longest river in the
worldthe Yangtse River, is about 90.0 km at its broadest point,
and most of the water depth is less than 10.0 m. Moreover, the
areas of most of the calculation domains considered in the SWAN
model are less than 100 km100 km, and most of the water
depths are less than 10.0 m (e.g., Booij et al., 1999; Bottema and
Vledder, 2009; Ris et al., 1999; Rusu et al., 2011). Thus, in the
present study, the lengths of calculation domain were set as 90.0
km in the x- and y-directions respectively, and the water depth h
was set as 5.0 m. Both sides of the calculation domain in the y dir- Fig. 2. Spatial distribution of the calculated wave heights
ection were set as the lateral boundaries, and the x axis was set along the wind direction.
98 ZHANG Hongsheng et al. Acta Oceanol. Sin., 2016, Vol. 35, No. 1, P. 96105

where X is the fetch (m), g is the gravity acceleration (m/s2), H is as 1%, 2%, or 3%; or the absolute error at the point is greater than
significant wave height (m). a certain value, such as 0.02 m, 0.05 m, or 0.10 m. In this way, the
From Fig. 2, it is noticed that the wave heights are x-axis sym- relation of the distortion range of wave height to water depth is
metrical and that the outgoing boundaries do not influence the obtained, as shown in Fig. 4. In this figure, the vertical coordin-
calculated wave heights significantly. ate, D, represents the distance between the distorted point and
the lateral boundary. From Fig. 4, it can be found that the distor-
4.1 Wave heights tion range of wave height near the lateral boundary increases as
The distribution of modeled wave heights along the section of the water depth increases. The distortion range changes a little if
x=119.5 km for different water depths is shown in Fig. 3. In the the water depth is smaller than 4.0 m, and it increases obviously
present section, the modeled results in the middle of section of with the increase of water depth if the water depth is greater than
x=119.5 km are taken as the normal values. From Fig. 3, it can 4.0 m.
be seen that the modeled wave heights are different from each
other in the case of different water depths, that the wave heights 4.2 Wave directions
near the lateral boundaries are smaller than the normal values, The modeled wave direction at some point is considered to
and that the distortion ranges are also different from each other. be invalid if the absolute error at the point is greater than a cer-
In order to study the distortion range of wave heights near the tain value, such as 1, 2, or 3. In this way, the relation of the dis-
lateral boundaries quantitatively, the distortion ranges are tortion range of wave direction to water depth is obtained, as
defined by the absolute and relative errors respectively. The shown in Fig. 5. From this figure, it can be found that the distor-
modeled wave height at some point is considered to be invalid if tion range of wave direction obviously increases as the water
the relative error at the point is greater than a certain value, such depth increases.

4.3 Wave periods


The distribution of modeled wave periods along the section of
x=119.5 km for different water depths is shown in Fig. 6, where
the vertical coordinate, T, represents the wave period. It is indic-
ated that the modeled wave periods are different from each other
in the case of different water depths, that the wave periods near
the lateral boundaries are smaller than the normal values, and
that the wave periods at the lateral boundaries are greater than
the normal values. The modeled wave period at some point is
considered to be invalid if the relative error at the point is greater
than a certain value, such as 1%, 2%, or 3%; or the absolute error
at the point is greater than a certain value, such as 0.05 s, or 0.10 s.
In this way, the relation of the distortion range of wave period to
Fig. 3. Spatial distribution of the modeled wave heights in
the case of different water depths.


Fig. 5. Curve of the distortion range of wave direction in
the case of different water depths.

Fig. 4. Curve of the distortion range defined by the relative


errors of wave heights in the case of different water depths
(a) and curve of the distortion range defined by the
absolute errors of wave heights in the case of different Fig. 6. Spatial distribution of the modeled wave periods in
water depths (b). the case of different water depths.
ZHANG Hongsheng et al. Acta Oceanol. Sin., 2016, Vol. 35, No. 1, P. 96105 99

water depth is obtained, as shown in Fig. 7. From this figure, it value, such as 1%,2%, or 3%; or the absolute error at the point is
can be seen that the distortion range of wave period near the lat- greater than a certain value, such as 0.5 m or 1.0 m. In this way,
eral boundary increases as the water depth increases. The differ- the relation of the distortion range of wave length to water depth
ences among the distortion ranges are small if the water depth is is obtained, as shown in Fig. 9. From Fig. 9, it can be seen that the
smaller than 3.0 m or 4.0 m, and the distortion range increases distortion range increases obviously with the increase of water
obviously with the increase of water depth if the water depth is depth if the water depth is between 4.0 m and 8.0 m, and that the
greater than 4.0 m. distortion range goes up and down,instead increases or de-
creases if the water depth is greater than 8.0 m.
4.4 Wave lengths As mentioned above, the modeled wind wave factors near the
The distribution of modeled wave lengths along the section of lateral boundaries are obviously distorted; and the distortion
x=119.5 km for different water depths is shown in Fig. 8, where ranges increase as the water depth increases.
the vertical coordinate, L, represents the wave length. It is indic-
ated that the modeled wave lengths are different from each other 5 Effects of wind speed on distortion range
in the case of different water depths, that the wave lengths near It is assumed that the water depth and wind direction are
the lateral boundaries are smaller than the normal values, and constant. They are set as 3 m and 0 respectively. The input wind
that the wave lengths at the lateral boundaries are greater than speeds, U10, are assumed as 7.0, 8.0, , 26.0 m/s, and the mean
the normal values. The distortion range increases as the water values of different Beaufort scales, including 6.7, 9.4, 12.3, 15.5,
22.3, and 26.5 m/s. The other parameters are set as those of Sec-
depth increases.
tion 3.
The modeled wave length at some point is considered to be
invalid if the relative error at the point is greater than a certain
5.1 Wave heights
In the present section, the modeled results in the middle of
section of x=89.5 km are taken as the normal values. The distri-
bution of modeled wave heights along the section of x=89.5 km in
the case of different wind speeds is shown in Fig. 10. From the fig-
ure, it can be seen that the modeled wave heights are different
from each other in the case of different wind speeds, that the
wave heights near the lateral boundaries are smaller than the
normal values, and that the distortion ranges are also different
from each other.
In order to study the distortion range of wave heights quantit-
atively, the distortion ranges are defined by the absolute and rel-
ative errors respectively. The criterions for distortion are the
same as Subsection 4.1. The relation of the distortion range of
wave height to water depth is obtained, as shown in Fig. 11.
From Fig. 11a, it is shown that the distortion range of wave

Fig. 7. Curve of the distortion range defined by the relative


errors of wave periods in the case of different water depths
(a) and curve of the distortion range defined by the
absolute errors of wave periods in the case of different
water depths (b).


Fig. 9. Curve of the distortion range defined by the relative
errors of wave lengths in the case of different water depths
(a), and curve of the distortion range defined by the
Fig. 8. Spatial distribution of the calculated wave lengths absolute errors of wave lengths in the case of different
in the case of different water depths. water depths (b).
100 ZHANG Hongsheng et al. Acta Oceanol. Sin., 2016, Vol. 35, No. 1, P. 96105

height near the lateral boundary decreases with the increase of 5.3 Wave periods
wind speed if the wind speed is less than 20 m/s, and that the dis- The distribution of modeled wave periods along the section of
tortion range changes a little when the wind speed is greater than x=89.5 km in the case of different wind speeds is shown in Fig. 13.
20 m/s. From Fig. 11b, it is indicated that the distortion range of The criterions for distortion are the same as Subsection 4.3. From
wave height increases when the wind speed is between 10 m/s Fig. 13, it can be seen that the modeled wave periods are differ-
and 20 m/s, and that the distortion range remains basically un- ent from each other in the case of different wind speeds, that the
changed under the other circumstances. Compared Fig 11a with wave periods near the lateral boundaries are smaller than the
Fig. 11b, it is found that the variation trend of distortion range normal values, and that the wave periods at the lateral bound-
defined by the relative error is different from that defined by the aries are greater than the normal values. The relation of the dis-
absolute error. This is because the wave height increase as the tortion range of wave period to water depth is obtained, as shown
wind speed increases, leading the relative error to be smaller. in Fig. 14. Compared Fig. 14 a with Fig. 14 b, it is found that the
variation trend of distortion range defined by the relative error is
5.2 Wave directions different from that defined by the absolute error.
The criterions for distortion are the same as Subsection 4.2.
The relation of the distortion range of wave direction to water 5.4 Wave lengths
depth is obtained, as shown in Fig. 12. From this figure, it can be The distribution of modeled wave lengths along the section of
found that the distortion range of wave direction near the lateral x=89.5 km in the case of different wind speeds is shown in Fig. 15.
boundary decreases with the increase of wind speed, and that the It is indicated that the modeled wave lengths are different from
decreasing trend of distortion range is weakened a little when the each other in the case of different wind speeds, that the wave
wind speed is greater than 20 m/s. lengths near the lateral boundaries are smaller than the normal
values, and that the wave lengths at the lateral boundaries are
greater than the normal values.
The criterions for distortion are the same as Subsection 4.4.
The relation of the distortion range of wave length to water depth
is obtained, as shown in Fig. 16. From Fig. 16a, it can be seen that
the distortion range decreases with the increase of wind speed.
From Fig. 16b, it is indicated that the distortion range of wave
height increases when the wind speed is between 10 and 20 m/s,
and that the distortion range remains basically unchanged under
the other circumstances. From Figs 15 and 16b, it is shown that
the effect of wind speed on the distortion range is small. Com-
pared Fig. 16a with Fig. 16b, it is indicated that the variation trend
of distortion range defined by the relative error is different from

Fig. 10. Spatial distribution of the calculated wave heights


in the case of different wind speeds.


Fig. 12. Curve of the distortion range of wave direction in
the case of different wind speeds.

Fig. 11. Curve of the distortion range defined by the


relative errors of wave heights in the case of different wind
speeds (a) and curve of the distortion range defined by the
absolute errors of wave heights in the case of different Fig. 13. Spatial distribution of the calculated wave periods
wind speeds (b). in the case of different wind speeds.
ZHANG Hongsheng et al. Acta Oceanol. Sin., 2016, Vol. 35, No. 1, P. 96105 101

Fig. 16. Curve of the distortion range defined by the


Fig. 14. Curve of the distortion range defined by the
relative errors of wave lengths in the case of different wind
relative errors of wave periods in the case of different wind
speeds (a) and curve of the distortion range defined by the
speeds (a) and curve of the distortion range defined by the
absolute errors of wave lengths in the case of different
absolute errors of wave periods in the case of different
wind speeds (b).
wind speeds (b).

on the results of Sections 3 to 5, the calculation domains for lakes


should be properly enlarged based on the actual physical areas,
when the wind wave fields are calculated with the SWAN model.

6.1 Lake Taihu


The bottom elevation (from the 1985 Chinese National Height
Datum) and measurement stations are shown in Fig. 17. As
shown in the figure, Lake Taihu is within a rectangle in which the
horizontal coordinates of the southern, northern, eastern, and
western boundaries are at y=3 422.00 km, y=3 491.00 km,
x=488.60 km, and x=555.65 km, respectively. The lake lies
between latitudes of 3055N and 3134N and longitudes of
11953E and 12040E (the Gauss-Kruger projection was em-
Fig. 15. Spatial distribution of the calculated wave lengths
ployed to transform the geographic coordinate system into the
in the case of different wind speeds.
Cartesian coordinate system). The wind fields and wave fields
were measured at three stations: Dapukou, Gonghu, and Ping-
that defined by the absolute error. taishan, hereafter named Stations T1, T2, and T3, respectively.
As mentioned above, the distortion ranges of wave factors, in- The horizontal rectangular coordinates of Stations T1, T2, and T3
cluding wave height, wave period and wave length, defined by are (493.45 km, 3 460.54 km), (537.64 km, 3 480.32 km), and
the relative errors are different from those defined by the abso- (510.06 km, 3 456.74 km), respectively. The measurement data
lute errors. For the cases considered, the distortion range defined from August 8 to September 2, 2007, were provided by the Hydro-
logy and Water Resources Supervision and Measurement Bureau
by the absolute error remains basically unchanged and increases
of the Taihu Basin Authority (Zhang et al., 2015). In this study,
slightly when the wind speed is between 10 and 20 m/s, whereas
the measurement data on August 24 are used. The wind fields
the distortion ranges defined by the relative errors decrease as
measured on that day are shown in Fig. 18. When the measured
the wind speed increases. This is because the wave factors in-
wind fields are used as the inputs, they are firstly converted into
crease with the increase of wind speed, which leads the relative
U10. After modeling tests, it is proper for Lake Taihu considered
error to be smaller. The distortion range of wave direction near that the grid sizes were chosen as 450 m in the westeast direc-
the lateral boundary decreases obviously with the increase of tion (x-direction) and 500 m in the southnorth direction (y-dir-
wind speed, and the decreasing trend is weakened a little when ection).
the wind speed is greater than 20 m/s. To define the calculation domain, three points, TA, TB, and
TC (shown in Fig. 17), were selected. The selected three points
6 Test cases were near the boundaries. The horizontal coordinates of points
The area of Lake Taihu is 2 427.8 km2, and it is large. In con- TA, TB, and TC were (520.71 km, 3 423.66 km), (515.83 km, 3
trast, Lake Dianshan has a small area of 63.0 km2. The two lakes 490.18 km), and (490.47 km, 3 456.91 km), respectively. The
are shallow. For Lake Taihu and Lake Dianshan, the long-term shortest distances between the shorelines and Point TA, TB, and
average water depths are 1.89 m and 2.0 m, respectively. Based TC were 263.98 m, 231.00 m, and 441.10 m, respectively. Three
102 ZHANG Hongsheng et al. Acta Oceanol. Sin., 2016, Vol. 35, No. 1, P. 96105

calculation domains were assumed, and the coordinates of their angle shown in Fig. 17. In the figure, the rectangle just covers the
boundaries are listed in Table 1. This table shows that the four outmost boundaries of Lake Taihu. In the eastern region, the wa-
boundaries for Case I correspond to the boundaries of the rect- ters are narrow and closed. Gales seldom impact the eastern
levee. Thus, the eastern boundary of the calculation domains was
not extended. The western, southern, and northern boundaries
for Cases II and III were correspondingly extended by five
meshes from the Cases I and II boundaries, respectively. Accord-
ingly, grids of 149138, 154148, and 159158 were adopted for
Cases I, II, and III, respectively. Using the average wind fields of
the three stations as inputs, the calculation results for Points TA,
TB, and TC, and Station T2, which is close to the shoreline, on
August 24 are shown in Fig. 19. From the figure, it can be seen
that the calculated wave heights at Point TA for Case I were dif-

Fig. 17. Sketch of the bottom elevation and measurement


stations in Lake Taihu.


Fig. 19. Comparisons of the calculated wave heights for
Fig. 18. Measured wind fields on August 24, 2007 (20:00 Lake Taihu on August 24, 2007, using different calculation
oclock on August 24 is defined as the zero hour). () for domains. Solid line: Case I; dashed line: Case II; triangles:
Station T1, (+) for Station T2, and () for Station T3. Case III.

Table 1. Horizontal coordinates of boundaries of the three calculation domains for Lake Taihu and Lake Dianshan, respectively
Lake Taihu Lake Dianshan
Southern Northern Western Eastern Southern Northern Western Eastern
Case
boundary boundary boundary boundary boundary boundary boundary boundary
y=3 422.00 y=3 491.00 x=488.60 x=555.65 y=3 439.40 y=3 452.50 x=299.96 x=310.96
y=3 419.5 y=3 493.50 x=486.35 x=555.65 y=3 438.90 y=3 453.00 x=299.46 x=311.46
y=3 417.00 y=3 496.00 x=484.10 x=555.65 y=3 438.40 y=3 453.00 x=299.46 x=311.46
Notes: In unit of km.
ZHANG Hongsheng et al. Acta Oceanol. Sin., 2016, Vol. 35, No. 1, P. 96105 103

ferent than those for Cases II and III, and the calculated wave the calculated wave heights at Points C and D for Case I were the
heights at Points TB and TC, and Station T2, were equal for all same as those for Case II. Therefore, the southern boundary of
three cases. The calculated wave heights at Stations T1 and T3 for Case III was extended five meshes from the Case II boundary,
all three cases were also compared and found to be equal. This is with the other Case III boundaries being the same as the corres-
because Stations T1 and T3 are in the center region of the lake.
ponding Case II boundaries. The calculated wave heights of four
Therefore, Case II was selected as the final calculation domain.
points for Case III are also shown in Fig. 22, and the data indicate
This was because Case II was smaller than Case III, and so the
computational time was not excessively wasted. that the calculation results for Case III were the same as those for
Case II. Therefore, Case II was selected as the final calculation
6.2 Lake Dianshan domain.
The bottom elevation chart and the three measurement sta-
tions are shown in Fig. 20. The Stations D1, D2, and D3 are loc-
ated at (301.98 km, 3 442.48 km), (304.14 km, 3 444.13 km), and
(306.39 km, 3 446.42 km), respectively. The wind fields measured
on July 18, 2009 are shown in Fig. 21.
Grid sizes were set to 100 m in the eastwest direction (x-dir-
ection) and in the northsouth direction (y-direction). To define
the calculation domain, four points, A, B, C, and D (shown in Fig.
20), were selected; they were all near the boundaries. The hori-
zontal coordinates of Points A, B, C, and D were (301.96 km, 3
440.00 km), (300.16 km, 3 441.20 km), (307.46 km, 3 452.30 km),
and (310.76 km, 3 446.80 km), respectively. The shortest dis-
tances between the shorelines and Points A, B, C, and D were 600
m, 200 m, 100 m, and 100 m, respectively. Three calculation do-
mains were assumed, and the coordinates of their boundaries are
listed in Table 1. This table shows that the four boundaries for
Case I correspond to the boundaries of the rectangle shown in
Fig. 20. In the figure, the rectangle just covers the outmost
boundaries of Lake Dianshan. The four boundaries of Case II
were correspondingly extended five meshes from the Case I
boundaries. Grids of 110131 and 120141 were adopted for
Cases I and II, respectively. The calculation results for Points A,
B, C, and D on July 18 are shown in Fig. 22. This figure shows that
the calculated wave heights at Point A for Case I differed signific-
antly from those for Case II; the calculated wave heights at Point Fig. 20. Sketch of the bottom elevation and measurement
B for Case I were somewhat different from those for Case II; and stations in Lake Dianshan.

Fig. 21. Measured wind fields in Lake Dianshan. Solid line: Station D1; dashed line: Station D2; dash-dotted line: Station D3.
104 ZHANG Hongsheng et al. Acta Oceanol. Sin., 2016, Vol. 35, No. 1, P. 96105

m. Therefore, if the water depth of calculation domain is greater


than 4.0 m or so, the lateral boundaries should be sufficiently far
away from the area of interest to avoid the calculation error
propagating into the area of interest.
When the water depth and wind direction are assumed to be
constant, generally, the distortion ranges of the calculated wave
factors decrease with the increase of wind speed. Moreover, for
the same wave factor, the variation trend of the distortion range
defined by the relative error is different from that defined by the
absolute error. When the absolute error is used to define distor-
tion range, the distortion ranges of the wave factors including
wave height, wave period, and wave length change a little with
the variation of wind speed; whereas the distortion range defined
by the relative error decreases obviously with the increase of
wind speed. This is because the calculated wave factors increase
as the wind speed increases, which leads the relative error to be
smaller. The distortion range of the modeled wave direction de-
creases as the wind speed increases.
Whether the water depth or the wind speed is assumed to be
constant, the modeled wave factors, including wave height, wave
period, and wave length near the lateral boundaries are less than
those along the x-axis; however, the modeled wave period and
wave length at the lateral boundaries are greater than those along
the x-axis. Therefore, when SWAN model is employed to calcu-
late the wind wave fields, the calculation domain should be prop-
erly enlarged on the basis of the area of interest, Such as Lake
Taihu and Lake Dianshan considered in this study, in order that
the whole wind wave fields in the area of interest can be ob-
tained accurately and the computation time is not wasted. The
present study should also be useful to the knowledge and im-
provement of SWAN model.

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