Many coastal zones are protected by ‘soft’ sea defences such as sandy dunes. This project will improve flood risk management along sandy coasts by using a real-time dune erosion model in combination with an advanced data-model integration method for estimating the wave action. The project is also developing methods and techniques with a view to the experimental operational application of the methods during and after extreme storms.

Present erosion models need the latest input from periodic measurements. However, the nearshore beach is very variable and can deviate considerably from this historical data. An accurate picture of the actual, current bathymetry is therefore required. Continuous field measurements are a possibility here, but they are very expensive.

A promising, less expensive, alternative is to use video images of breaking waves. We know that wave breaking and wave breaking intensity are a source of information about bathymetry height and location (sand bars). The video images, in combination with the model output, are an effective way of determining the best possible bathymetry.

New video techniques and image post-processing provide the opportunity to match observations of wave breaking patterns against computed wave breaking results obtained with XBeach. A new tool called Beachwizard assimilates the observations and the computed results so that the underwater profile can be estimated.


Mission Flood Control 2015

“A really substantial improvement in operational flood protection worldwide.”