Wave propagation models are being used in a variety of operational applications among which for safe navigation in coastal waters, especially in the approaches of ocean harbors. Current velocities during falling
tides can encounter waves propagating towards the coast and induce modifications to the wave forms that may lead, under certain conditions, to wave breaking. The latter process can certainly pose risk to safe navigation on the arrival segment of a voyage, one of the most unsafe phases of a ship trip (http://www.emsa.europa.eu/).
Accu-Waves (http://accuwaves.eu/) is a decision making support tool for navigation safety in ports. The application will support approaching procedures of vessels to ports. Hence, it would be desirable to be able to identify seafaring hazards such as the special case of wave-current interaction mentioned above.
The paper describes a methodology that optimizes computational resources by suggesting when to include that wave-current interaction in the models and how this can be implemented at its critical phase, i.e. at wave breaking due to excessive vertical acceleration. Further it presents numerical experiments that support the inherent ability of the model to simulate the opposing current situation as well as a real-life application in a European port. Results are then discussed and conclusions drawn.