Experiments are the traditional techniques used in coastal engineering to study complex wave structure interactions. However, with the advent of high-performance computing, even performing 1:1 scale numerical simulations has become a reality. The progress aids in extending the parametric investigation or repeating the procedure for comparable structures. In this study, a numerical model in OpenFOAM® with waves2Foam wave boundary conditions is used to simulate wave structure interactions at seawalls with varied geometrical configurations of recurved parapets. The numerical model is validated by employing ForschungsZentrum Küste (FZK)'s large-scale (1:1) experiments. The validated model is then applied to the plain parapet and vertical wall to understand better overtopping behaviour, pressure distribution, and structural loads. Numerical modelling is used in this study to visualise and assess intrinsic parameters such as the velocity profile, vorticity, air entrapment, and entrainment better to understand the dissipation characteristics of seawalls with recurved parapets.

  • For the first time, on a large scale, an OpenFOAM®-based numerical model is applied considering breaking wave loads.

  • A Reynolds-averaged Navier–Stokes equations solver (interFoam) in OpenFOAM® with waves2Foam is employed.

  • A detailed analysis of impact loads at seawalls retrofitted with different types of parapets are made.

  • Simulated velocity profile, vorticity, and impact pressure distribution are compared.

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