Applicability of the MIKE21 Model for Simulating the Rip Current: A Case Study for Cam Ranh Bay, Khanh Hoa Coastal of Vietnam

N. T. Ngo1, 2, T. B. Nguyen3, 4, ✉

1 Ho Chi Minh City University of Natural Resources and Environment, Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam

2 VNU University of Science, Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam

3 Ho Chi Minh City University of Technology, Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam

4 Vietnam National University, Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam



Purpose. Numerous drownings have been recorded killing dozens of beach bathers along the coastal zones of Khanh Hoa Province in Vietnam, most of which are recognized to be related to rip currents in recent years. The object of the study was, therefore, to simulate the rip current generations (RCGs) along the Bai Dai Beach of Cam Ranh Bay in Khanh Hoa Province, Vietnam by applying the MIKE21-NSW Model.

Methods and Results. In order to deploy this study, field surveys were conducted to collect the hydrodynamic characteristics and seabed topography during the period from December 10, 2012, to January 20, 2013. The performance of the MIKE21-NSW Model has been appraised by comparing the simulated results with the observed data and was in good agreement with SEIs (NASH = 0.76÷0.94, RMSE = 2.1÷14.1% and R2 = 0.79÷0.95).

Conclusions. Based on comparing the simulated model with the observed data, it was stated that the MIKE21-NSW Model can effectively characterize the rip current hazard for different beach surface states. The findings provide a useful reference for beach development management and early warm rip current across the study beach.


MIKE21-NSW Model, rip current, seaward current, surf zone, wave-current interaction


Sincere gratitude is expressed to the reviewers who commented on the manuscript. We would like to thank Ho Chi Minh City University of Technology (HCMUT), VNU-HCM for providing time and facilities for this study.

For citation

Ngo, N.T. and Nguyen, T.B., 2023. Applicability of the MIKE21 Model for Simulating the Rip Current: A Case Study for Cam Ranh Bay, Khanh Hoa Coastal of Vietnam. Physical Oceanography, 30(4), pp. 508-521.


  1. Kim, H.D. and Kim, K.-H., 2021. Analysis of Rip Current Characteristics Using Dye Tracking Method. Atmosphere, 12(6), 719. doi:10.3390/atmos12060719
  2. Li, Z., 2016. Rip Current Hazards in South China Headland Beaches. Ocean & Coastal Management, 121, pp. 23-32. doi:10.1016/j.ocecoaman.2015.12.005
  3. Brander, R. and Scott, T., 2016. Science of the Rip Current Hazard. In: M. Tipton and A. Wooler, eds., 2016. The Science of Beach Lifeguarding. Boca Raton, Florida: CRC Press, pp. 67-86. doi:10.4324/9781315371641
  4. Castelle, B., Scott, T., Brander, R.W. and McCarroll, R.J., 2016. Rip Current Types, Circulation and Hazard. Earth-Science Reviews, 163, pp. 1-21. doi:10.1016/j.earscirev.2016.09.008
  5. Gensini, V.A. and Ashley, W.S., 2010. Reply to “Rip Current Misunderstandings”. Natural Hazards, 55, pp. 163-165. doi:10.1007/s11069-010-9528-3
  6. MacMahan, J., Brown, J., Brown, J., Thornton, E., Reniers, A., Stanton, T., Henriquez, M., Gallagher, E., Morrison, J. [et al.], 2010. Mean Lagrangian Flow Behavior on an Open Coast Rip-Channeled Beach: A New Perspective. Marine Geology, 268(1-4), pp. 1-15. doi:10.1016/j.margeo.2009.09.011
  7. Austin, M.J., Scott, T.M., Russell, P.E. and Masselink, G., 2013. Rip Current Prediction: Development, Validation, and Evaluation of an Operational Tool. Journal of Coastal Research, 29(2), pp. 283-300. doi:10.2112/JCOASTRES-D-12-00093.1
  8. Leatherman, S.B. and Leatherman, S.P., 2017. Techniques for Detecting and Measuring Rip Currents. International Journal of Earth Science and Geophysics, 3(1), 014. doi:10.35840/2631-5033/1814
  9. McCarroll, R.J., Brander, R.W., MacMahan, J.H., Turner, I.L., Reniers, A.J.H.M., Brown, J.A. and Bradstreet, A., 2013. Assessing the Effectiveness of Rip Current Swimmer Escape Strategies, Shelly Beach, NSW, Australia. Journal of Coastal Research, 65(sp1), pp. 784-789. doi:10.2112/SI65-133.1
  10. Scott, T., Austin, M., Masselink, G. and Russell, P., 2016. Dynamics of Rip Currents Associated with Groynes – Field Measurements, Modelling and Implications for Beach Safety. Coastal Engineering, 107, pp. 53-69. doi:10.1016/j.coastaleng.2015.09.013
  11. Moulton, M., Dusek, G., Elgar, S. and Raubenheimer, B., 2017. Comparison of Rip Current Hazard Likelihood Forecasts with Observed Rip Current Speeds. Weather and Forecasting, 32(4), pp. 1659-1666. doi:10.1175/WAF-D-17-0076.1
  12. Winter, G., van Dongeren, A.R., de Schipper, M.A. and van Thiel de Vries, J.S.M., 2014. Rip Currents under Obliquely Incident Wind Waves and Tidal Longshore Currents. Coastal Engineering, 89, pp. 106-119. doi:10.1016/j.coastaleng.2014.04.001
  13. Brighton, B., Sherker, S., Brander, R., Thompson, M. and Bradstreet, A., 2013. Rip Current Related Drowning Deaths and Rescues in Australia 2004-2011. Natural Hazards and Earth System Sciences, 13(4), pp. 1069-1075. doi:10.5194/nhess-13-1069-2013
  14. Drozdzewski, D., Shaw, W., Dominey-Howes, D., Brander, R., Walton, T., Gero, A., Sherker, S., Goff, J. and Edwick, B., 2012. Surveying Rip Current Survivors: Preliminary Insights into the Experiences of Being Caught in Rip Currents. Natural Hazards and Earth System Sciences, 12(4), pp. 1201-1211. doi:10.5194/nhess-12-1201-2012
  15. Bonneton, P., Bruneau, N., Castelle, B. and Marche, F., 2010. Large-Scale Vorticity Generation Due to Dissipating Waves in the Surf Zone. Discrete and Continuous Dynamical Systems - B, 13(4), pp. 729-738. doi:10.3934/dcdsb.2010.13.729
  16. Wang, H., Zhu, S., Li, X., Zhang, W. and Nie, Y., 2018. Numerical Simulations of Rip Currents off Arc-Shaped Coastlines. Acta Oceanologica Sinica, 37, pp. 21-30. doi:10.1007/s13131-018- 1197-1
  17. Bruneau, N., Bonneton, P., Castelle, B. and Pedreros, R., 2011. Modeling Rip Current Circulations and Vorticity in a High-Energy Mesotidal-Macrotidal Environment. Journal of Geophysical Research: Oceans, 116(C7), C07026. doi:10.1029/2010JC006693
  18. Hu, P., Li, Z., Zhu, D., Zeng, C., Liu, R., Cheng, Z. and Su, Q., 2022. Field Observation and Numerical Analysis of Rip Currents at Ten-Mile Beach, Hailing Island, China. Estuarine, Coastal and Shelf Science, 276, 108014.
  19. Castelle, B., Michallet, H., Marieu, V., Leckler, F., Dubardier, B., Lambert, A., Berni, C., Bonneton, P., Barthélemy, E. and Bouchette, F., 2010. Laboratory Experiment on Rip Current Circulations over a Moveable Bed: Drifter Measurements. Journal of Geophysical Research: Oceans, 115(C12), C12008. doi:10.1029/2010JC006343
  20. Nguyex, X.L. and Dang, D.D., 2019. Assessing the Possibility of Appearing RIP Current at Quy Nhon Beach, Binh Dinh Province. VNU Journal of Science: Earth and Environmental Sciences, 35(4), pp. 34-47 doi:10.25073/2588-1094/vnuees.4416
  21. Nguyen, K.P., Ngo, N.T. and Tran, T.H., 2012. [Researching to Calculate Rip Currents in Nha Trang Area]. Journal of Water Resources Science and Technology, 12, pp. 85-90 (in Vietnamese).
  22. Le, D.M., 2005. Estimation of Wave Characteristics during Hurricane in Khanh Hoa Area. Journal of Marine Science and Technology, 2(5), pp. 1-17 (in Vietnamese).
  23. Murray, T., Cartwright, N. and Tomlinson, R., 2013. Video-Imaging of Transient Rip Currents on the Gold Coast Open Beaches. Journal of Coastal Research, 65(sp2), pp. 1809-1814. doi:10.2112/SI65-306.1

Download the article (PDF)