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Estimates of tropical cyclone geometry parameters based on best track data
Parametric wind profiles are commonly applied in a number of engineering applications for the generation of tropical cyclone (TC) wind and pressure fields. Nevertheless, existing formulations for computing wind fields often lack the required accuracy when the TC geometry is not known. This may affect the accuracy of the computed impacts generated by these winds. In this paper, empirical stochastic relationships are derived to describe two important parameters affecting the TC geometry: radius of maximum winds (RMW) and the radius of gale force winds (ΔAR35). These relationships are formulated using best track data (BTD) for all seven ocean basins (Atlantic, S/NW/NE Pacific, N/SW/SE Indian Oceans). This makes it possible to a) estimate RMW and ΔAR35 when these properties are not known and b) generate improved parametric wind fields for all oceanic basins. Validation results show how the proposed relationships allow the TC geometry to be represented with higher accuracy than when using relationships available from literature. Outer wind speeds can be well reproduced by the commonly used Holland wind profile when calibrated using information either from best-track-data or from the proposed relationships.
Global distribution of nearshore slopes with implications for coastal retreat
Nearshore slope, defined as the cross-shore gradient of the subaqueous profile, is an important input parameter which affects hydrodynamic and morphological coastal processes. It is used in both local and large-scale coastal investigations. However, due to unavailability of data, most studies, especially those that focus on continental or global scales, have historically adopted a uniform nearshore slope. This simplifying assumption could however have far reaching implications for predictions/projections thus obtained. Here, we present the first global dataset of nearshore slopes with a resolution of 1 km at almost 620,000 points along the global coastline. To this end, coastal profiles were constructed using global topo-bathymetric datasets. The results show that the nearshore slopes vary substantially around the world. An assessment of sea level rise (SLR) driven coastline recession (for an arbitrary 0.5 m SLR) with a globally uniform coastal slope of 1:100, as done in previous studies, and with the spatially variable coastal slopes computed herein shows that, on average, the former approach would under-estimate coastline recession by about 40 %, albeit with significant spatial variation. The final dataset has been made publicly available at https://doi.org/10.4121/uuid:a8297dcd-c34e-4e6d-bf66-9fb8913d983d.
A comprehensive sediment budget for the Mississippi barrier islands
Pilot project sand groynes Delfland coast
In October and November 2009 a pilot project has been executed at the Delfland Coast in the Netherlands, constructing three small sandy headlands called Sand Groynes. Sand Groynes are nourished from the shore in seaward direction and anticipated to redistribute in the alongshore due to the impact of waves and currents to create the sediment buffer in the upper shoreface. The results presented in this paper intend to contribute to the assessment of Sand Groynes as a commonly applied nourishment method to maintain sandy coastlines. The morphological evolution of the Sand Groynes has been monitored by regularly conducting bathymetry surveys, resulting in a series of available bathymetry surveys. It is observed that the Sand Groynes have been redistributed in the alongshore, mainly in northward direction driven by dominant southwesterly wave conditions. Furthermore, data analysis suggests that Sand Groynes have a trapping capacity for alongshore supplied sand originating from upstream located Sand Groynes. A Delft3D numerical model has been set up to verify whether the morphological evolution of Sand Groynes can be properly hindcasted. Although the model has been set up in 2DH mode, hindcast results show good agreement with the morphological evolution of Sand Groynes based on field data. Trends of alongshore redistribution of Sand Groynes are well reproduced. Still the model performance could be improved, for instance by implementation of 3D velocity patterns and by a more accurate schematization of sediment characteristics.
Morphodynamic upscaling with the MORFAC approach : dependencies and sensitivities
The Morphological Acceleration Factor (MORFAC) approach for morphodynamic upscaling enables the simulation of long term coastal evolution. However the general validity of the MORFAC concept for coastal applications has not yet been comprehensively investigated. Furthermore, a robust and objective method for the a priori determination of the highest MORFAC that is suitable for a given simulation (i.e. critical MORFAC) does not currently exist. This paper presents some initial results of an ongoing, long-term study that attempts to rigorously and methodically investigate the limitations and strengths of the MORFAC approach. Based on the results of a numerical modelling exercise using the morphodynamic model Delft3D, the main dependencies and sensitivities of the MORFAC approach are investigated. Also, a criterion is proposed for the a priori determination of the critical MORFAC, based on the CFL condition for bed form migration.
Analysis of current patterns in coastal areas using X-band radar images
The Seadarq software from Nortek is designed to derive wave, water depth and current information from ordinary navigation radar images. This is done by analysis of the wave propagation patterns using an inverse dispersion fitting technique. The remotely sensed data provides the unique opportunity to assess temporal and spatial propagation patterns of waves and currents over a significant stretch of water overlooked by a radar station. This exploratory study shows that radar data can provide very valuable insight in otherwise seldom disclosed current patterns. The spatial and temporal information of the radar data may allow us to calibrate our numerical model not only for water levels but now also for details in the currents patterns. Moreover, the radar data has improved the understanding of the hydrodynamics in a complex tidal inlet and around a mega-nourishment.
A three-dimensional palaeo-reconstruction of the groundwater salinity distribution in the Nile Delta Aquifer
The Nile Delta is an important agricultural area with a fast-growing population. Though traditionally irrigated with surface water, the delta increasingly relies on groundwater. However, saline groundwater extends far land inward, rendering groundwater close to the coastal zone useless for consumption or agriculture. To aid groundwater management decisions, hydrogeologists reconstructed this saline and brackish groundwater zone using variable-density groundwater models with very large dispersivities. However, this approach cannot explain the observed freshening of this zone as observed by hydrogeochemists, who hypothesize that the coastal saline zone is the effect of the Holocene transgression. Here, we investigated physical plausibility of this hypothesis by conducting a palaeo-reconstruction of groundwater salinity for the last 32 ka with a complex 3D variable-density groundwater flow model, using state-of-the-art model code that allows for parallel computation. Several scenarios with different lithologies and hypersaline groundwater provenances were simulated, of which five were selected that showed the best match with the observations. Amongst these selections, total fresh water volumes varied strongly, ranging from 1526 to 2659 km3, mainly due to uncertainties in the lithology offshore and at larger depths. This range is smaller (1511–1989 km3) when we consider the volumes of onshore fresh groundwater within 300 m depth. Regardless of the variance, in all cases the total volume of hypersaline groundwater exceeded that of sea water. We also show that during the last 32 ka, the total fresh groundwater volumes significantly declined, with a factor ranging from 1.9 to 5.4, due to the rising sea-level. Compared to a steady-state solution with present-day boundary conditions, the palaeo-reconstruction improved our validation for the saline zone (5 g/L–35 g/L TDS). Also, under highly permeable conditions the marine transgression simulated with the palaeo-reconstruction led to a steeper fresh-salt interface compared to its steady-state equivalent, while low permeable clay layers allowed for the preservation of volumes of fresh groundwater. This shows that long-term transient simulations are needed when estimating present-day fresh-salt groundwater distribution in large deltas. The insights of this study are also applicable to other major deltaic areas, given the wide-range of lithological model scenarios used in this study and since many deltas also experienced a Holocene marine transgression.
Assessment of future rainfall for the Brahmani-Baitarani river basin – practical implications of limited data availability
Severe floods are common in the Brahmani-Baitarani river basin in India. Insights into the implications of climate change on rainfall extremes and resulting floods are of major importance to improve flood risk analysis and water system design. A wide range of statistical and dynamical downscaling and bias-correction methods for the generation of local climate projections exists. Yet, the applicability of these methods highly depends on availability of meteorological data. In developing countries, data availability is often limited, either because data do not exist or because of restrictions on use. We here present a climate change analysis for the Brahmani-Baitarani river basin focusing on changes in rainfall using data from three GCMs from the Fifth Coupled Model Intercomparison Project (CMIP5) that were selected based on their performance. We apply and compare two widely used and easy to implement bias-correction methods. These were selected because reliable open historical meteorological datasets required for advanced methods were not available. The results indicate likely increases in monsoon rainfall especially in the mountainous regions and likely increases in the number of heavy rain days. We conclude with a discussion on the gap between state-of-the-art downscaling techniques and the actual options in regional climate change assessments.
Downscaling GCM data for climate change impact assessments on rainfall : a practical application for the Brahmani-Baitarani river basin
The delta of the Brahmani-Baitarani river basin, located in the eastern part of India, frequently experiences severe floods. For flood risk analysis and water system design, insights in the possible future changes in extreme rainfall events caused by climate change are of major importance. There is a wide range of statistical and dynamical downscaling and bias-correction methods available to generate local climate projections that also consider changes in rainfall extremes. Yet the applicability of these methods highly depends on availability of meteorological observations at local level. In the developing countries data and model availability may be limited, either due to the lack of actual existence of these data or because political data sensitivity hampers open sharing. We here present the climate change analysis we performed for the Brahmani-Baitarani river basin focusing on changes in four selected indices for rainfall extremes using data from three performance-based selected GCMs that are part of the 5th Coupled Model Intercomparison Project (CMIP5). We apply and compare two widely used and easy to implement bias correction approaches. These methods were selected as best suited due to the absence of reliable long historic meteorological data. We present the main changes – likely increases in monsoon rainfall especially in the Mountainous regions and a likely increase of the number of heavy rain days. In addition, we discuss the gap between state-of-the-art downscaling techniques and the actual options one is faced with in local scale climate change assessments.
Dynamic coastal protection : resilience of dynamic revetments (DYNAREV)
A large-scale laboratory experiment was completed to investigate the performance of a dynamic cobble berm revetment designed to provide sustainable coastal protection under wave attack and a rising water level. The experiment demonstrated the inherent stability of the dynamic revetment, which was observed to be reshaped by every wave but retained its overall shape throughout the experiment with almost no loss of material. By comparing with a sand beach case, it was found that the revetment reduced shoreline retreat during an erosive wave condition and reduced runup excursions, thus eliminating erosion landward of the revetment. Overall the experiment provided significant new understanding of dynamic revetments and demonstrated the potential for dynamic revetments to provide low cost, robust coastal protection.