Rusu, E. and Guedes Soares, C., 2013. Modeling waves in open coastal areas and harbors with phase-resolving and phase-averaged models.
A wave-prediction system based on spectral models was validated against in situ measurements in the Portuguese continental nearshore and is now operational. As a final extension of this system, the present article describes the implementation and validation of high-resolution wave models. In this connection, the objective of the present work was to evaluate the performance of such models in different coastal environments. The first target was an open coastal area located in the central part of the Portugal continental. An evaluation of the two state-of-the-art phase-resolving wave models, REFDIF1 and FUNWAVE, was carried out, and the results are compared with those from a field experiment. The second target area was the port of Leixões in the north of the Portuguese continental coast. A high-resolution SWAN computational domain that included the harbor area, was implemented and connected to the modeling system that provides ocean forcing. To provide a more realistic picture of the wave conditions inside the harbor area, the FUNWAVE model was also coupled to the wave-prediction system. Comparisons between the results provided by the two wave models provide a better image of the reliability and limitations of both models at the entrance and inside the harbor area.