Modelling coastal floods to support sustainable growth of coastal communities

Lead Research Organisation: University of Nottingham
Department Name: Div of Process and Environmental Eng

Abstract

The Fellowship will pioneer the concept of integrated numerical modelling for coastal defence design by combining two different classes of numerical model for wave transformation in the coastal zone and wave-structure interaction.This will enable simultaneous investigation of those physical processes that act at very different spatial scales and influence wave propagation and the performance of coastal structures during extreme storms and flooding. The Fellowship is motivated by the pressing need for the coastal research community to provide for advanced design tools that can help designers and coastal communities in optimizing the resources needed for designing, building and maintaining coastal defences.The Fellow will lead a research team that will develop these tools using an open source platform. A modular approach will be pursued so that at the end of each task of the project a self-standing, well-tested numerical tool can be delivered. The research will then focus on the most challenging task: interfacing a coastal model with one model able to investigate the local-scale processes that act in the near field of coastal structures and thereby to determine their performance. Additionally, a large-scale wave generation and a surge models will be interface with the coastal model. This integrated model will be first built for one-dimensional wave propagation and therefore the fully two-dimensional case. This model will have the remarkable capability of describing the features of the wave propagation and describe the three-dimensional nature of the flow in the near field of structures of interest. In order to be efficient and to benefit coastal designers, this interfacing should be possible both for non-breaking waves and breaking wave conditions. This is particularly challenging since it will require that the two-dimensional coastal model be equipped with an accurate sub-model to describe the turbulence transport due to wave breaking. The research team will also establish a methodology able to measure the uncertainty of the prediction of the numerical model at hand.The research objectives will be measured by the accuracy of the simulations of selected test cases found in literature. The project will culminate in the analysis of a test case, involving a realistic scenario of coastal flooding in the presence of defence structures, which will measure the benefits of the use of an integrated modelling approach with respect to the state of the art in coastal design.

Planned Impact

The proposed research is anticipated to benefit the governmental and local agencies that are involved in coastal defence management in the UK as well as consultancy firms involved in the design of coastal flooding defence. The proposal is expected to benefit the general public, specifically the coastal communities in the UK. Governmental bodies responsible the budget allocation, planning and supervision of coastal defence systems will benefit from the Fellowship by a more reliable design process that will be possible with the methodology introduced by the proposed research. This will allow the optimization of the resources allocated for coastal defences and will enable the agencies to have reliable information on a wide spectrum of scenarios for coastal defences at a lower cost with respect to the present approaches to design. The Fellowship will also explore the performances of a new kind of sustainable coastal structure, making possible for Governmental and local Agencies to have a cost-effective alternative for coastal defence. Many UK coastal engineering consultancy will benefit from the research findings. The main benefit is anticipated to be the improvement of the coastal structures design stage. At the present stage models that can give a detailed description of small scale processes are used almost exclusively by scientists since they require too much computing time to deal with scenarios of practical interest. The Fellowship will work towards making the computational effort required by these models reasonable for governmental or industrial end users as well. The software will be developed based on an open source platform in order to maximize this impact. The Fellowship requested two PhD students; their training to research on coastal structures will also generate an impact on industry, agencies or academia, depending on the career path chosen by the PhDs. The two PhDs will be well aware of problems connected with coastal defences and will be skilled in disciplines of fundamental importance in coastal defence design and management. General public will benefit from a more efficient design of coastal structures on many levels. Coastal communities will see the level of security on the waterfront increased and, given the optimization of the resources; they will save natural resources (such as those employed in construction or those damaged by the flooding) and being able to relocate them to plan their sustainable growth. The applicant will engage with the Governmental bodies by using, at first, the host Institution resources aimed specifically at building networks between researches and national and local agencies. He will also attend DEFRA and ICE conferences; those are national conferences largely attended by designers, policy makers therefore they will be a priority route of dissemination. The general public will be engaged by using the web, engaging with local and national media and by organizing public lectures. A web page for the research project will be set up and the host institution web resources will be used to disseminate project findings and news. The applicant will be trained in media skills at first within the university staff skills development programme. At an advanced stage of the Fellowship he will attend media skills courses within those suggested by the EPSRC. The project will culminate with a workshop, held at the University of Nottingham, to present the numerical model based on open source codes and invite at the use of it.

Publications

10 25 50

publication icon
Bellotti G (2012) Modal analysis of semi-enclosed basins in Coastal Engineering

publication icon
Briganti R (2016) Advances in numerical modelling of swash zone dynamics in Coastal Engineering

publication icon
Incelli G (2016) Morphodynamical modelling of field-scale swash events in Coastal Engineering

 
Description The key finding of the project are:

-Resonance phenomena can exacerbate flooding occurrence in bays, both in terms of magnitude and duration. This was quantified for tsunamis generated floods.

-Wave overtopping at coastal structures is sensitive to the sequence of waves that occur. This sensitivity is higher for small overtopping volumes and discharges. The uncertainty introduced in the prediction of overtopping was extensively studied and quantified. Guidelines on the use of numerical models for overtopping were formulated.

-The role of the bed mobility in wave overtopping was investigated. The findings suggest that wave overtopping is significantly influenced about the bed mobility, in the near-field and far-field of the coastal defence structures.
Exploitation Route These findings are useful for coastal modellers of flood and overtopping as well as modeller of risk to coastal infrastructures.
Modellers can use directly the guidelines provided by the project.
In particular these are of interest to urban planners, to the transport industry, in particular to the transport industries that maintain a number of strategic assets in coastal areas.
Sectors Transport

 
Description FROG
Amount £41,000 (GBP)
Organisation University of Nottingham 
Sector Academic/University
Country United Kingdom
Start 05/2012 
End 09/2015
 
Description Flood MEMORY
Amount £157,000 (GBP)
Organisation Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) 
Sector Academic/University
Country United Kingdom
Start 03/2013 
End 05/2016
 
Description HYDRALAB+
Amount € 110,000 (EUR)
Funding ID HYDRALAB-PLUS, Contract no. 654110 
Organisation European Commission 
Sector Public
Country European Union (EU)
Start 07/2016 
End 07/2019
 
Description HR Wallingford 
Organisation HR Wallingford Ltd
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Private 
PI Contribution HR Wallingford allowed access to their wave flume and instruments for three weeks
Collaborator Contribution Manpower and expertise in experiments of wave overtopping
Impact Two journal papers stemming from this collaboration. Outcomes have been considered in the new Eurotop manual for overtopping design.
Start Year 2011
 
Description ICODEP 
Organisation Newcastle University
Department School of Civil Engineering and Geosciences
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution Analysis of time-clustering of wave-storms in the Mediterranean Sea (already one publication), and within the EU Transnational Access Programme (HYDRALAB-PLUS, Contract no. 654110) for the experiments at Hannover Forschungszentrum Küste (FZK)
Collaborator Contribution Together with the University of Genova, Catania and Rome, La Sapienza, University o Ghent, Belgium, University of NewCastle, UK and UNESCO, IHE, Holland, we prepared a proposal for a project within the EU funded programme, Hydralab+. The project is entitled ICODEP and consists of large-scale laboratory experiments of the interaction between a beach and a coastal structure. The budget for the experiment is 110000€, which is not directly allocated to partners who receive only travel and subsistence.
Impact -One paper on Natural Hazard and Earth Science Systems.
Start Year 2016
 
Description ICODEP 
Organisation Sapienza University of Rome
Country Italy 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution Analysis of time-clustering of wave-storms in the Mediterranean Sea (already one publication), and within the EU Transnational Access Programme (HYDRALAB-PLUS, Contract no. 654110) for the experiments at Hannover Forschungszentrum Küste (FZK)
Collaborator Contribution Together with the University of Genova, Catania and Rome, La Sapienza, University o Ghent, Belgium, University of NewCastle, UK and UNESCO, IHE, Holland, we prepared a proposal for a project within the EU funded programme, Hydralab+. The project is entitled ICODEP and consists of large-scale laboratory experiments of the interaction between a beach and a coastal structure. The budget for the experiment is 110000€, which is not directly allocated to partners who receive only travel and subsistence.
Impact -One paper on Natural Hazard and Earth Science Systems.
Start Year 2016
 
Description ICODEP 
Organisation United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization
Department UNESCO-IHE Institute for Water Education
PI Contribution Analysis of time-clustering of wave-storms in the Mediterranean Sea (already one publication), and within the EU Transnational Access Programme (HYDRALAB-PLUS, Contract no. 654110) for the experiments at Hannover Forschungszentrum Küste (FZK)
Collaborator Contribution Together with the University of Genova, Catania and Rome, La Sapienza, University o Ghent, Belgium, University of NewCastle, UK and UNESCO, IHE, Holland, we prepared a proposal for a project within the EU funded programme, Hydralab+. The project is entitled ICODEP and consists of large-scale laboratory experiments of the interaction between a beach and a coastal structure. The budget for the experiment is 110000€, which is not directly allocated to partners who receive only travel and subsistence.
Impact -One paper on Natural Hazard and Earth Science Systems.
Start Year 2016
 
Description ICODEP 
Organisation University of Catania
Country Italy 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution Analysis of time-clustering of wave-storms in the Mediterranean Sea (already one publication), and within the EU Transnational Access Programme (HYDRALAB-PLUS, Contract no. 654110) for the experiments at Hannover Forschungszentrum Küste (FZK)
Collaborator Contribution Together with the University of Genova, Catania and Rome, La Sapienza, University o Ghent, Belgium, University of NewCastle, UK and UNESCO, IHE, Holland, we prepared a proposal for a project within the EU funded programme, Hydralab+. The project is entitled ICODEP and consists of large-scale laboratory experiments of the interaction between a beach and a coastal structure. The budget for the experiment is 110000€, which is not directly allocated to partners who receive only travel and subsistence.
Impact -One paper on Natural Hazard and Earth Science Systems.
Start Year 2016
 
Description ICODEP 
Organisation University of Genoa
Department Department of Civil, Chemical and Environmental Engineering
Country Italy 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution Analysis of time-clustering of wave-storms in the Mediterranean Sea (already one publication), and within the EU Transnational Access Programme (HYDRALAB-PLUS, Contract no. 654110) for the experiments at Hannover Forschungszentrum Küste (FZK)
Collaborator Contribution Together with the University of Genova, Catania and Rome, La Sapienza, University o Ghent, Belgium, University of NewCastle, UK and UNESCO, IHE, Holland, we prepared a proposal for a project within the EU funded programme, Hydralab+. The project is entitled ICODEP and consists of large-scale laboratory experiments of the interaction between a beach and a coastal structure. The budget for the experiment is 110000€, which is not directly allocated to partners who receive only travel and subsistence.
Impact -One paper on Natural Hazard and Earth Science Systems.
Start Year 2016
 
Description ICODEP 
Organisation University of Ghent
Country Belgium 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution Analysis of time-clustering of wave-storms in the Mediterranean Sea (already one publication), and within the EU Transnational Access Programme (HYDRALAB-PLUS, Contract no. 654110) for the experiments at Hannover Forschungszentrum Küste (FZK)
Collaborator Contribution Together with the University of Genova, Catania and Rome, La Sapienza, University o Ghent, Belgium, University of NewCastle, UK and UNESCO, IHE, Holland, we prepared a proposal for a project within the EU funded programme, Hydralab+. The project is entitled ICODEP and consists of large-scale laboratory experiments of the interaction between a beach and a coastal structure. The budget for the experiment is 110000€, which is not directly allocated to partners who receive only travel and subsistence.
Impact -One paper on Natural Hazard and Earth Science Systems.
Start Year 2016
 
Description University of Roma Tre 
Organisation Roma Tre University
Country Italy 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution Further experiments and a MsC student to carry out experiments at the University of Nottingham.
Collaborator Contribution They provided laboratory facilities.
Impact One paper published, one in preparation. The outcome is now part of the draft of the new EuroTop manual.
Start Year 2012