Our project is testing the relationship between wave pool depth and the height of waves. (Check the Background Information section for better project description) In the analytical essay we will take a look at themes that relate to our project themes including: Data analysis, what we learned, further research, and talking to American Wave Machines.
We tested five water levels in our wave tank to see how they would impact wave height. We tested depths of 5cm, 7.5cm, 10cm, 12.5cm, 15cm. Our hypotheses were close but we overestimated a little on each water level. For the 5cm water level we predicted that the wave would be 1cm, it was actually 0cm because although water serged the wave never broke. For the 7.5cm water level we predicted the wave would be 3cm high but it averaged 2.17cm tall. For the 10cm water level we predicted that the wave would be 5cm, it only averaged 3.5 cm. For the 12.5cm water level we predicted the wave would be 7cm tall but it averaged 4.67cm. From this data we found that for every 2.5cm of water depth added or taken away it made around a 1.4cm wave height difference. We also came from a conclusion that the deeper the water the bigger the wave. We also found that the wave can’t be taller than he water is deep.
If we were to investigate and experiment further about this topic we would scale it up to see how the waves change in even deeper water and if they follow the same patterns that we found on the smaller scale. On this larger scale we would expect to see the same patterns as we did on the small scale. We would predict to see the wave height be the same as the water depth and also see the wave height go up 1.4cm for every 2.5cm added to the wave height. Some design changes we would make are that we would add a water circulation river to prevent the backwash from effecting the wave. we would do this by cutting out a place for the backwash to fall into and go back into the water without affecting the wave at all. With this modification we can expect to see the wave break cleaner and longer on the reef.
During the process we interviewed people who do this professionally. They are called American Wave Machines. We got in touch with one of their top engineers Andrew Lindo. He is someone who designs wave pools and has had his company's designs built on a large scale all over the world. One of the designs you might have seen is the B.S.R wave pool in Texas. During the interview we asked Andrew a series of questions which gave us advice for our testing and improving our wave pool. (see below)
1. How do waves created in wave pools relate to those in the ocean? Are they comparable?
Yes they are comparable, waves in the ocean break the same way as they do in the ocean. The swell energy and contoured tank floor acts the same way as the ocean floor.
2. How do you prevent backwash from disrupting your wave?
The way to stop back was is all about energy dissipation. The two way you can do this is by using pillars like a pier to break up the wave energy. Or you could create a water hole or mote to catch the water so it wouldn’t affect the wave.
3. Do waves scale down at a certain rate or do they need to be a certain size with a certain amount of energy to break?
Waves do have somewhat of a scale but if you scale it down too small it will not break. We have found that wave in wave pools compared to waves in the ocean have a 1 to 12 ratio. This means that a one inch wave in a wave tank is that same as a 12 foot wave in the ocean.
4. What is the best way to create a wave in a small scale tank like ours? How do you make your waves?
Well the way we make them is the most effective. We uses what we call a particle circulator, it is an inverted vacuum. But with a low budget project your way is the most effective.
5. How you change the shape/size of your waves in wave pools?
In our wave tanks we change the pressure and power to alter the wave height and overall shape.
6. In your experience what effect does the depth of the water have on the height of the wave? What does it represent in the ocean? Tide, swell size?
The more water the bigger the wave. This could relate to the tide in the ocean. The wave breaks the height of the water depth.
From this interview we learned a lot of valuable information that we didn’t know before. This interview with an expert helped us answer our experiments original question we answered our original l question, “How will wave height respond to changes in water depth?” From the data we collected we came to the conclusion that the deeper the water the bigger the wave.