© 2017 Jon J. Williams and Luciana S. Esteves. The paper is motivated by a present lack of clear model performance guidelines for shelf sea and estuarine modellers seeking to demonstrate to clients and end users that a model is fit for purpose. It addresses the common problems associated with data availability, errors, and uncertainty and examines the model build process, including calibration and validation. It also looks at common assumptions, data input requirements, and statistical analyses that can be applied to assess the performance of models of estuaries and shelf seas. Specifically, it takes account of inherent modelling uncertainties and defines metrics of performance based on practical experience. It is intended as a reference point both for numerical modellers and for specialists tasked with interpreting the accuracy and validity of results from hydrodynamic, wave, and sediment models
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