Diving in to coastal modelling

JBP is working alongside Australia’s state and local governments to plan for future changes to our coastal environment and way of life in the years to come. Part of this process involves using modelling techniques to determine how the coastline will react to changing weather and sea level conditions. This is where I come in.

Why model coastal processes?

The coast is a complex and dynamic environment. Fortunately, numeric models allow us to represent the natural coast in a controlled way and perform many calculations quickly and efficiently. Modelling affords us the freedom to tweak and play with natural processes and we can use real-world data to calibrate our results. Crucially, modelling allows us to simulate extreme events that may not be possible to observe in reality, allowing us to plan for the future effects of climate change.

Modelling the future of our coasts

Since coming on board with JBP, I have learned and applied various coastal modelling approaches at locations along Australia’s east coast. We are using the Delft-SWAN and Delft3D WAVE models to evaluate extreme wave conditions for sites along the coast. We have used coastal models to augment the design of structures such as seawalls, groynes and storm water outfalls, and provide advice forerosion prone areas to coastal communities. Recently, The hydrodynamic and morphodynamic XBeach model was key to our understanding of erosion trends in Moreton Bay; This was a challenging project that allowed us to push the model’s capabilities and solve conceptual problems in understanding the processes involved.

As Australia’s coastal communities plan for the effects of climate change, the ability to forecast and model future conditions will be an indispensable tool.

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