A coupled tide-wave model for the NW European shelf seas

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Understanding the interaction of tides and waves is essential in many studies, including marine renewable energy, sediment transport, long-term seabed morphodynamics, storm surges and the impacts of climate change. In the present research, a COAWST model of the NW European shelf seas has been developed and applied to a number of physical processes. Although many aspects of wave–current interaction can be investigated by this model, our focus is on the interaction of barotropic tides and waves at shelf scale. While the COWAST model was about five times more computationally expensive than running decoupled ROMS (ocean model) and SWAN (wave model), it provided an integrated modelling system which could incorporate many wave–tide interaction processes, and produce the tide and wave parameters in a unified file system with a convenient post-processing capacity. Some applications of the model such as the effect of tides on quantifying the wave energy resource, which exceeded 10% in parts of the region, and the effect of waves on the calculation of the bottom stress, which was dominant in parts of the North Sea and Scotland, during an energetic wave period are presented, and some challenges are discussed. It was also shown that the model performance in the prediction of the wave parameters can improve by 25% in some places where the wave-tide interaction is significant
Original languageEnglish
JournalGeophysical and Astrophysical Fluid Dynamics
Publication statusPublished - 14 Aug 2014

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