Drifters and estuarine processes

This week we deployed our drifters in the Wooli Wooli River, located in the Clarence Valley region of NSW. These drifters are used to record current velocities during specific tidal levels to help calibrate a hydrodynamic model. Our drifter design has changed a little over the years, which were originally designed by Lauchlan Bye and Helen Fairweather by the University of the Sunshine Coast, and now are under the careful eye of our coastal engineer Mike Thomson. When tracking the drifters with our drone, we noticed a lot of wave energy entering the river through the training walls. So we couldn’t help ourselves and setup a quick XBeach model to understand how the waves are propagating and diffracting around the structures. Capturing physical data like this is important to any coastal and flood engineer, as it can really help build an understanding of the estuary before we start our model development and calibration.

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