Wave-tide interaction modulates nearshore wave height

Lewis, Matt J.; Palmer, Tamsin; Hashemi, Resa; Robins, Peter; Saulter, Andrew; Brown, Jenny; Lewis, Huw; Neill, Simon. 2019 Wave-tide interaction modulates nearshore wave height. Ocean Dynamics, 69 (3). 367-384.

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The combined hazard of large waves occurring at an extreme high water could increase the risk of coastal flooding. Wave-tide interaction processes are known to modulate the wave climate in regions of strong tidal dynamics, yet this process is typically omitted in flood risk assessments. Here, we investigate the role of tidal dynamics in the nearshore wave climate (i.e. water depths > 10 m), with the hypothesis that larger waves occur during high water, when the risk of flooding is greater, because tidal dynamics alter the wave climate propagating into the coast. A dynamically coupled wave-tide model “COAWST” was applied to the Irish Sea for a 2-month period (January–February 2014). High water wave heights were simulated to be 20% larger in some regions, compared with an uncoupled approach, with clear implications for coastal hazards. Three model spatial resolutions were applied (1/60°, 1/120°, 1/240°), and, although all models displayed similar validation statistics, differences in the simulated tidal modulation of wave height were found (up to a 10% difference in high water wave height); therefore, sub-kilometre-scale model resolution is necessary to capture tidal flow variability and wave-tide interactions around the coast. Additionally, the effects of predicted mean sea-level rise were investigated (0.44–2.00 m to reflect likely and extreme sea-level rise by the end of the twenty-first century), showing a 5% increase in high water wave height in some areas. Therefore, some regions may experience a future increase in the combined hazard of large waves occurring at an extreme high water.

Item Type: Publication - Article
Digital Object Identifier (DOI):
ISSN: 1616-7341
Date made live: 20 Feb 2019 17:15 +0 (UTC)

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