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Coupled wave and surge modelling for the eastern Irish Sea and implications for model wind-stress.

By Jennifer M. Brown and Judith Wolf


We revisit the surge of November 1977, a storm event which caused damage on the Sefton coast in NW England. A hindcast has been made with a coupled surge-tide-wave model, to investigate whether a wave-dependent surface drag is necessary for accurate surge prediction, and also if this can be represented by an optimised Charnock parameter. The Proudman Oceanographic Laboratory Coastal Modelling System-Wave Model (POLCOMS-WAM) has been used to model combined tides, surges, waves and wave-current interaction in the Irish Sea on a 1.85 km grid. This period has been previously thoroughly studied, e.g. Jones and Davies [Jones, J.E., Davies, A.M., 1998. Storm surge computations for the Irish Sea using a three-dimensional numerical model including wave-current interaction. Continental Shelf Research 18(2), 201-251] and we build upon this previous work to validate the POLCOMS-WAM model to test the accuracy of surge elevation predictions in the study area. A one-way nested approach has been set up from larger scale models to the Irish Sea model. It was demonstrated that (as expected) swell from the North Atlantic does not have a significant impact in the eastern Irish Sea. To capture the external surge generated outside of the Irish Sea a (1/9° by 1/6°) model extending beyond the continental shelf edge was run using the POLCOMS model for tide and surge. The model results were compared with tide gauge observations around the eastern Irish Sea. The model was tested with different wind-stress formulations including Smith and Banke [Smith, S.D., Banke, E.G., 1975. Variation of the surface drag coefficient with wind speed. Quarterly Journal of the Royal Meteorology Society, 101(429), 665-673] and Charnock [Charnock, H., 1955. Wind-stress on a water surface. Quarterly Journal of the Royal Meteorological Society, 81(350), 639-640]. In order to get a single parameterisation that works with wave-coupling, the wave-derived surface roughness length has been imposed in the surge model. One of the largest surge events that occurred at Liverpool in the last 10 years, in January 2007, has also been simulated for comparison to demonstrate the robust application of the coupled model

Topics: Marine Sciences, Meteorology and Climatology
Publisher: Elsevier
Year: 2009
DOI identifier: 10.1016/j.csr.2009.03.004
OAI identifier: oai:nora.nerc.ac.uk:8088

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