Wave Hub baseline study

Lead Research Organisation: Plymouth Marine Laboratory
Department Name: Plymouth Marine Lab

Abstract

This proposal has been designed to fill urgent scientific gaps in relation to baseline studies in renewable energy test sites and to take advantage of the unique opportunity presented by the development of the Wave Hub demonstrator site. While this proposal will benefit from the simultaneous characterisation of other ecosystem components by PRIMaRE scientists, we will complement current efforts by obtaining research quality data for the oceanographic characteristics of the site. It is essential to obtain this information prior to deployment of infrastructure if we are to understand the impact of arrays of wave devices together with the Wave Hub infrastructure. This opportunity has already been lost at other wave energy device testing sites (such as at EMEC, Orkney), because devices, together with infrastructure such as moorings and cabling have already been installed. We will deploy multidisciplanry field teams in time to obtain high quality, spatially resolved field data ahead of the Wave Hub construction. For this, we have therefore suggested a modest budget to ensure that this information is collected from August 2010 to August 2011. Our approach will be to obtain: (i) Detailed oceanographic study at the Wave Hub site and surrounds - covering the whole range of physical, chemical and biological parameters before the deployment of Wave Hub infrastructure and wave energy devices. (ii) Ensure data acquisition in time and space to allow development of physical and ecosystem models at scales relevant to wave arrays. Ultimately models will allow us to make predictive assessments of the extent, timescales and intensity of ecosystem impacts and perturbation resulting from implementation of wave energy arrays. (iii) Engagement of environmental economists to ensure these same data can be used to develop economic valuation estimates of critical life supporting ecosystem services at scales appropriate to arrays of wave devices for comparison with other uses of marine space. This proposal is also driven by the need to expand the science capability and resources over the next five years to address the questions which have arisen directly in respect of marine renewable energy development and sustainable use of marine resources. Hence, many of the activities are also viewed as capacity building and skill development within PML-PRIMaRE that are pivotal to address the scientific requirements of the renewable energy sector.
 
Description This award provided the funds to make the initial collection of environmental baseline data to support future studies of marine renewable energy impacts. In 2012 we visited the wave hub and collected water for nutrient and phytoplankton analyses at 3 depths at 14 Stations and carried out zooplankton nets deployments. Additionally, we deployed 4 moorings (two wirewalker, one ADCP and one thermistor string) that were in operation for 12 days. The data have been submitted to BODC. The data are currently feeding into a model validation exercise under NERC project FLOWBEC and the PhD dissertation of Marcus Zanacchi registered at University of Plymouth.
Exploitation Route The data are being used by Marcus Zanacchi as part of his PhD studying the sensitivity of the wave hub frontal area to wave and wind mixing in addition to tidal energy dissipation.
Sectors Education,Environment

 
Title Bio-Physical dataset collected at Wavehub site, Cornwall. 
Description During the field work supported by this grant we visited 14 Stations and collected water for nutrient and phytoplankton analyses at 3 depths and carried out zooplankton nets deployments. Additionally, we deployed 4 moorings (two wirewalker, one ADCP and one thermistor string) that were in operation for 12 days. 
Type Of Material Database/Collection of data 
Year Produced 2012 
Provided To Others? Yes  
Impact The data sets are curently being used by University of Plymouth NERC PhD students Samantha Cox and Marcu Zanacchi. 
 
Title FVCOM model outputs for the UK shelf 
Description FVCOM hydrodynamic model output supplied to MERP research programme. 
Type Of Material Database/Collection of data 
Year Produced 2013 
Provided To Others? Yes  
Impact Paper published using this data. Fieldwork campaigns informed by the outcomes of the model outputs. 
 
Description Bangor University 
Organisation Bangor University
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution Model results generated by me have been analysed by James Waggit at Bangor to help interpret the behaviour of seabirds.
Collaborator Contribution Paper manuscripts.
Impact Two peer-reviewed papers so far with a third in the works. Multiple conference presentations.
Start Year 2013
 
Description SAMS 
Organisation Scottish Association For Marine Science
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Charity/Non Profit 
PI Contribution Collaboration between us and SAMS for configuration of our common modelling tools. In particular, this has been for the configuration of the atmospheric model we use.
Collaborator Contribution Help setting up and troubleshooting model configurations and data sources.
Impact We have generated a decade of atmospheric model outputs which we use for a range of modelling applications. These results have also been included in a peer-reviewed publication.
Start Year 2012
 
Title FVCOM Python Toolbox 
Description Python tools for interrogating FVCOM model data. 
Type Of Technology Software 
Year Produced 2019 
Open Source License? Yes  
Impact Significantly speeds up post-processing model outputs. Also increasing use in parallel processing of outputs and inputs for FVCOM. 
URL https://gitlab.ecosystem-modelling.pml.ac.uk/fvcom/pyfvcom
 
Title FVCOM toolbox 
Description Provide pre- and post-processing tools for the FVCOM hydrodynamic model. 
Type Of Technology Software 
Year Produced 2019 
Open Source License? Yes  
Impact The toolbox has been included in the official release of FVCOM. 
URL https://gitlab.ecosystem-modelling.pml.ac.uk/fvcom/fvcom-toolbox
 
Description Attended the Offshore Renewable Energy Supergen Hub meeting in London to represent PML's science 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact Attended the Offshore Renewable Energy Supergen Hub meeting in London to represent PML's science
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017