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Regional Coastal Monitoring Programmes

The model has been developed as part of The South West Partnership for Environmental and Economic Prosperity (SWEEP) project that will help deliver economic and community benefits to the South West, whilst protecting and enhancing the area’s natural resources.

Funded by NERC, SWEEP is a collaboration of three research institutions: the University of Exeter, Plymouth Marine Laboratory and the University of Plymouth – working together with a large group of highly engaged business, policy and community partners.

About the Model: SWEEP OWWL is a 1-km resolution hydrodynamic model developed in Delft3D for the southwest of the UK. The model is forced along four boundaries by UK Met Office 2D spectral wave data, water levels, and currents, and the entire domain is forced with gridded wind and pressure data at 7-km resolution. The model is updated once a day.

Using the Forecast

The Channel Coastal Observatory has a network of nearshore wave buoys and tide gauges that provide a real-time measurement of wave conditions. By simply clicking on any one of the sites, the model forecast for the next three days, as well as a one-day hindcast is depicted. Recorded wave and water level data, if available, is also shown for the hindcast period. The wave buoy network provides good coverage of the southwest conditions; however, the model allows us to provide forecasts for more locations where measurements are not provided. These sites can be seen in the overview map.

Future Developments

We plan to use the model output to provide flood forecasts during energetic events for the southwest coast of England. Forecasted wave conditions will be used to drive nearshore models, using the latest intertidal beach data, we will predict wave runup (purely function of wave conditions and beach morphology) to which we will add the predicted still water level (tide plus residuals). This will produce total wave runup and comparing this with freeboard we will predict potential for overwash (or overtopping) and also potentially overwash volumes. This information will be provided to the Local Authorities and Environment Agency who will use it to help plan and prepare for storm events.

For more information please contact;
Prof Gerd Masselink, Dr Kit Stokes or Dr Tim Poate