Towards medium-term (order of months) morphodynamic modelling of the Teign estuary, UK

Bernardes, M. and Davidson, M.A. and Dyer, K. and George, K.J. (2006) Towards medium-term (order of months) morphodynamic modelling of the Teign estuary, UK. Ocean Dynamics, 56 (3-4). pp. 186-197. ISSN 1616-7341

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The main objective of this paper is to address the principal mechanisms involved in the medium-term (order of months to years) morphodynamic evolution of estuaries through the application of a process-based numerical modelling. The Teign estuary (Teignmouth, UK) is the selected site. The system is forced by the macrotidal semi-diurnal tide in the English Channel and is perturbed to a minor extent by high river discharge events (freshets). Although waves have a definite influence on the adjacent coastal area, Wells (Teignmouth Quay Development Environmental Statement: Changes to Physical Processes. Report R.984c:140. ABP Marine Environmental Research Ltd., Southampton, 2002b) suggested that swell waves do not enter the estuary. Hence, wave effects are neglected in this study, as only tides and the river discharge are taken into account. The sediment grain size is highly variable, but mainly sandy. Within the frame of the COAST3D project (, four bathymetric surveys of the adjacent coastal area were carried out at a nearly weekly intervals. The outer estuary and the adjacent coastal area were also surveyed every 6 months as part of the COASTVIEW project ( Based on these data and on continuously measured parameters, such as water level, waves, wind and river discharge, numerical modelling of the morphodynamic processes can be tested. To replicate the morphological changes in the medium-term within a feasible simulation time, forcing conditions are reduced through the use of an input reduction method (called ensemble technique). In this study, simulations are based on the coupling between Telemac-2D and its non-cohesive sediment transport module, Sisyphe (version 5.3 for both modules). Three different sediment transport formulae were tested: (1) Engelund and Hansen (A monograph on sediment transport in alluvial streams, 3rd edn. Technological University of Denmark, Copenhagen, 1967) including the modifications proposed by Chollet and Cunge (J Hydraul Eng 17(1):1–13, 1979); (2) Bijker (Mechanics of sediment transport by the combination of waves and current. In: Design and reliability of coastal structures. 23rd international conference on Coastal Engineering, pp 147–173, 1968) and (3) Soulsby (Dynamics of Marine Sands. A manual for practical applications. HR Wallingford, Wallingford, p 142, 1997) modified version of van Rijn [J Hydraul Eng 110(10):1431–1456, 1984a, J Hydraul Eng 110(11):1613–1641, 1984b] formulation. Both a qualitative (i.e. visual comparison) and a quantitative tool [Brier Skill Score (BSS); described in Sutherland et al. in Coast Eng 51:917–939, 2004b] are applied to assess the similarity of simulations when compared to model predictions and observations. Tests confirmed the reliability and time efficiency of the ensemble technique, since it reproduced very well the results of a reference run, a computation based on the observed boundary conditions. For the spring-neap cycle modelled, the BSS was of 0.91 (a perfect modelling would have a BSS of 1), with a reduction in the simulation time on the order of 80%. For the 6-month-period simulation, results were also excellent: BSS=0.92 and a computer time reduction of 85%. In principle, this method has the advantage of being applied to any process-based numerical model.

Item Type: Article
Subjects: Maritime > General
Coasts > General
Divisions: Coastal
Depositing User: Unnamed user with email
Date Deposited: 02 Apr 2020 09:47
Last Modified: 19 May 2020 08:27

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