Dr. James M. Kaihatu,
Professor and
Associate Department Head for Research


201F and 310D DLEB


Ph +1-979-862-3511 (310D)
Ph +1-979-845-1353 (201F)
FAX +1-979-862-8162

Research Interests

My primary interests involve many aspects of surface wave generation and propagation, including shelf-scale wave transformation, nonlinear wave-wave interaction, tsunami inundation, wave breaking and nearshore circulation, and the effects of various bottom types, with an emphasis on cohesive bottom sediments. Recently, I have been investigating the signature of nearshore phenomena (breaking, dissipation and nonlinear dynamics) on the longer term statistics (effect on spectral shape, skewness, and asymmetry). I am also interested in data assimilation, and the ability to invert known or best-deduced dynamics to yield information such as bottom characterization parameters, input conditions and bathymetry.


Ocean wave propagation and generation, wave transformation, nearshore nonlinear dynamics, wave breaking, nearshore circulation, wave propagation over cohesive sediments, data assimilation, tsunami propagation, waves over vegetation.


An advance copy of Advances in Coastal Hydraulics has arrived. (Posted 25 June 2018).

Four graduate students from my research group have successfully defended their work. Congratulations to David Pauling (M.S.), Mourya Penugonda (M.S.), Wonhyun Lee (Ph.D.) and John Goertz (Ph.D.). (Posted 15 June 2018).

I was recently interviewed for DesignSafe Radio, part of the Natural Hazards Engineering Research Infrastructure network supported by the National Science Foundation. The interview can be heard on several websites; this link is from Stitcher. The entire series can be heard in podcast form from iTunes here. (Posted 7 April 2018).

The World Scientific volume Advances in Coastal Hydraulics, co-edited with Dr. Vijay Panchang (Professor and Program Chair, Mechanical Engineering Program, Texas A&M University at Qatar), will be released in August 2018. (Posted 2 March 2018).

Our work on tsunami-island interaction was written up in the 12 December 2017 issue of EOS, the newsletter of the American Geophysical Union (AGU). Link to PDF of article. (Posted 12 December 2017).


This semester (Fall 2018) I will be teaching

Office hours are available on the Meeting Schedule. For a list of other courses that I teach and their related on-line materials, visit the Teaching pages of this web site.