Oceanography at coastal scales. Modelling, coupling and observations.
Oceanographic processes at coastal scales present a number of differences with respect to deep water oceanography, which result in higher prediction errors. In shallow water coastal domains the bottom topography, via the sea-bed boundary condition, exerts a strong control on the resulting wave and current fields. In addition to this, other factors need to be accounted for, such as the relevance of the tidal influence, stratification and mixing effects, land boundary condition (affecting the wind fields), the presence of distributed run off and point-wise river mouths. And yet it is in these coastal zones where the need for accuracy and reliability becomes crucial for planning socio-economic activities and for maintaining risk levels under present and future climate conditions.
A thorough characterisation of the physical processes taking place on the coastal region relies on the joint use of numerical modelling, in-situ observations and remote sensing, three approaches currently achieving rapid advances and which constitute the three basic pillars of this session. A coupled modelling approach to atmosphere, hydrodynamics and sediment transport, as well as the refinement of numerical strategies (nested meshes, finite-difference or finite-element discretization, variable grids, etc.), parameterizations and boundary conditions, can play a critical role in improving the quality of analyses and predictions. Marine observatories, providing the necessary information to drive and validate numerical models, are progressively aggregating into organised, trans-national infrastructures based on broadly accessible and interoperable data formats. The advent of new satellite capabilities (with increased resolution and enhanced technologies, like in the case of the Sentinel constellation) aiming at overcoming the typical limitations of remote sensing in coastal environments, allows starting a quantum leap in coastal oceanography. In fact, the joint use of these instruments can be particularly powerful for an increasing integration among the different aspects of coastal risk assessment, planning and response to climate change (as recommended by IPCC last reports).
This session proposes to discuss recent advances in these fields with emphasis on: integrated ocean-atmosphere-sediment modelling approaches and the physics of their coupling mechanisms; the hydrological, biogeochemical, geomorphological variability of coastal regions; the availability and use of coastal in-situ observations; and standards, procedures and data formats to make data ready for use in an integrated ocean processes monitoring system. We thus welcome presentations /posters also on: satellite/in-situ measurements, coastal assimilation, atmosphere-ocean-sediment model coupling and error/prediction limits as well as the contribution of coastal met-ocean science to operational oceanography. Applications to improve our knowledge on how these processes interact with coastal infrastructure or activities and applications of operational simulations combined with remote and in-situ data.