BA8404 - Advanced Numerical Modeling of Marine Free Surface Flows


Examination arrangement

Examination arrangement: Oral exam
Grade: Passed / Not Passed

Evaluation Weighting Duration Grade deviation Examination aids
Oral exam 100/100 30 minutes E

Course content

The course covers the underlying principles of numerical modeling of marine flows with complex free surfaces with a numerical wave tank. In the near-field, these types of flows occur under non-linear waves, where waves steepen up to and beyond the point of breaking. The numerical methods taught capture the complex free surface through two-phase flow modeling and solution of the three-dimensional Navier-Stokes equations. The numerical methods for the interface treatment, spatial and temporal discretization, parallel computing are presented. Essential parts of a numerical wave tank are the wave generation, wave absorption and the unique numerical aspects of simulating wave propagation. The relevant topics for marine and coastal engineering of modeling porous structures, floating bodies and sediment transport are also introduced. In addition, the possibility to use the two-dimensional depth-averaged version of the numerical wave tank is covered, which allows for large scale phase resolved wave modeling in conjunction with a non-hydrostatic pressure solution or additional dispersion terms. In the exercises, the theoretical knowledge of numerical modeling of marine flows with complex free surfaces is applied by the students. The numerical wave tank used is the open-source hydrodynamics model REEF3D, which is developed at the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering. Here, all numerical methods addressed in the lectures are implemented. A brief introduction of the object oriented principles and modular code structure of the numerical wave tank is given.

Learning outcome

Knowledge: After completion of this course, the student will have knowledge on: - the CFD Fundamentals of a numerical wave tank (Navier-Stokes equations, convection discretization, diffusion, time discretization, pressure, turbulence modeling, iterative solver) - free surface treatment with interface capturing (level set method, volume-of-fluid method) - Numerical Wave Tanks (wave generation, wave absorption, principles of the calculation of wave propagation with a CFD code) - parallel computing (domain decomposition, message passing interface, parallel solution of a sparse linear matrix) - porous media algorithms for breakwater simulations - sediment transport calculation in a CFD-based numerical wave tank - 6DOF algorithm for fluid-structure-interaction - depth-averaged Navier-Stokes equations (with non-hydrostatic pressure or dispersion terms) for large scale phase resolved wave modeling Skills: After completion of this course, the student will have skills on: - practical use of numerical methods for marine flows with complex free surfaces - selection of physical boundary conditions for wave generation and absorption - compilation and installation of the open-source hydrodynamics model REEF3D - setting up simulations for a range of marine flow problems with a complex free surface - running simulations on NOTUR's supercomputer facilities General competence: After completion of this course, the student will have general competence on: -Insight into CFD-based numerical wave tanks and the critical evaluation of the numerical results.

Learning methods and activities

There will be lectures and exercises. The exercises consist of a range of simulation problems for marine flows with complex free surfaces. The lectures and exercises are given in English.

Compulsory assignments

  • Exercises

Further on evaluation

Exercises are required for participating in the oral exam. Oral examination 100/100. To pass the course a score of at least 70 percent is required. Support material code: E

Specific conditions

Admission to a programme of study is required:
Engineering (PHIV)

Required previous knowledge

Fluid mechanics and wave theory equivalent to TVM4116 Fluid Mechanics and TBA4270 Coastal Engineering respectively in addition to Matlab/Phyton skills are required.

Note that if you wish to follow the course the semester it runs, but are not affiliated with the PhD programme in Engineering, please contact

Course materials

To be announced at the start of the course.

More on the course



Version: 1
Credits:  7.5 SP
Study level: Doctoral degree level


Term no.: 1
Teaching semester:  AUTUMN 2023

Language of instruction: English

Location: Trondheim

Subject area(s)
  • Hydraulic Engineering
  • Applied and Industrial Mathematics
  • Coastal Engineering
  • Fluid Mechanics
  • Marine Hydrodynamics
Contact information


Examination arrangement: Oral exam

Term Status code Evaluation Weighting Examination aids Date Time Examination system Room *
Autumn ORD Oral exam 100/100 E 2023-12-15 09:00
Room Building Number of candidates
Spring ORD Oral exam 100/100 E
Room Building Number of candidates
  • * The location (room) for a written examination is published 3 days before examination date. If more than one room is listed, you will find your room at Studentweb.

For more information regarding registration for examination and examination procedures, see "Innsida - Exams"

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