We report the results of laboratory experiments conducted to study equilibrium profiles of asymmetric sand ripples that form under nonlinear shoaling waves. Waves were generated in a large wave tank with a sandy slope that mimics the oceanic coastal zone. The measurements revealed that, to the first approximation, the equilibrium asymmetric sand ripples profiles can be considered as self-similar. In the experimental parameter range considered (wave asymmetry A=1.3-5; mobility parameter Psi=8-70; shoaling coefficient S=1.03-1.6), the ripple profiles can be described by a simple similarity profile of "sawtooth" shape with "universal" onshore theta(1) (approximate to 34 degrees) and offshore theta(2) (approximate to 18 degrees) ripple slope angles. The results may be useful in parameterization of coastal bed roughness, in underwater acoustics and sediment transport applications. (c) 2006 American Institute of Physics.
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