28 Jun 2022
28 Jun 2022
Status: this preprint is open for discussion.

Accuracy of numerical wave model results: Application to the Atlantic coasts of Europe

Matias Alday1, Fabrice Ardhuin1,2, Guillaume Dodet1, and Mickael Accensi1 Matias Alday et al.
  • 1Univ. Brest, CNRS, Ifremer, IRD, Laboratoire d’Océanographie Physique et Spatiale, Brest, France
  • 2Scripps Institution of Oceanography, University of California San Diego, La Jolla, California

Abstract. Numerical wave models are generally less accurate in the coastal ocean than offshore. It is generally suspected that a number of factors specific to coastal environments can be blamed for these larger model errors: complex shoreline and topography, relatively short fetches, combination of remote swells and local wind seas, less accurate wind fields, presence of strong currents, bottom friction, etc. These factors generally have strong local variations, making it all the more difficult to adapt a particular model setup from one area to another. Here we investigate a wide range of modelling choices including forcing fields, spectral resolution and parameterizations of physical processes in a regional model that covers most of the Atlantic and North Sea coasts. We show that the accurate propagation of waves from offshore is probably the most important factor on exposed shorelines, while other specific effects can be important locally, including winds, currents and bottom friction.

Matias Alday et al.

Status: open (until 11 Sep 2022)

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  • RC1: 'Comment on egusphere-2022-481', Anonymous Referee #1, 02 Aug 2022 reply

Matias Alday et al.

Matias Alday et al.


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Short summary
Obtaining accurate results from wave models in coastal regions is typically more difficult. This is due to the complex interactions between waves and the local environment characteristics like complex shorelines, sea bottom topography, the presence of strong currents and other processes that include waves’ growth and decay. In the present study we analyze which elements can be adjusted and/or included in order to reduce errors in the modeled output.