The Proudman Oceanographic Laboratory’s Coastal Observatory, now running for more than five years, aims\ud to understand how coastal seas respond to natural and man-made forcing. It is a ‘pre-operational’ monitoring system that integrates real-time measurements with coupled numerical models. These models provide daily forecasts of met-ocean conditions on a variety of scales, ranging from 12 km (Atlantic Margin) and 6 km (Medium Resolution Continental Shelf) to 1.8 km (Irish Sea).\ud \ud The latest addition to this suite of models will be a 180-meter model of Liverpool Bay and the Dee, Mersey and Ribble estuaries, covering the Coastal Observatory’s survey stations and mooring sites. This 3-D hydrodynamic model uses POLCOMS (Proudman Oceanographic Laboratory Coastal Ocean Modelling System) with meteorology and river flows as inputs, to predict temperature, salinity and sediment transport.\ud \ud Here, we explore the model’s performance, and how it can be used to support process studies. Our objective is to routinely compare real-time and survey data with model outputs, specifically vertical profiles and horizontal gradients. Results will inform planning of future surveys and coastal management, as well as improve model performance
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