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Natural Hazards and Earth System Sciences An interactive open-access journal of the European Geosciences Union
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Volume 15, issue 6 | Copyright
Nat. Hazards Earth Syst. Sci., 15, 1231-1242, 2015
https://doi.org/10.5194/nhess-15-1231-2015
© Author(s) 2015. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License.

Research article 16 Jun 2015

Research article | 16 Jun 2015

A validation of an operational wave and surge prediction system for the Dutch coast

L. Sembiring1,2, M. van Ormondt2, A. van Dongeren2, and D. Roelvink1,2 L. Sembiring et al.
  • 1UNESCO-IHE Institute for Water Education, Delft, the Netherlands
  • 2Deltares, Delft, the Netherlands

Abstract. Knowledge of the actual condition of hydrodynamics in the nearshore and coastal area is essential for coastal monitoring activities. To this end, a coastal operational model system can serve as a tool in providing recent and up-to-date, state-of-the-art hydrodynamics along the coast. In this paper, we apply CoSMoS (Coastal Storm Modeling System), a generic operational wave and tide-surge modelling system applied here to predict waves and water levels along the Dutch coast. The CoSMoS application is not limited to storm impact prediction on the Dutch coast, but can also be applied to other coastal hazards such as rip currents and coastal flooding, in other environments. In this paper, we present the set-up of the CoSMoS system and a validation of the wave and surge model, with deep-water wave buoy data and tidal gauge measurements as ground truth validation material. The evaluation is presented as monthly error measures between computed parameters and observed ones. Hindcast results over the whole year of 2009 show that the simulated wave parameters and surge elevation from the CoSMoS are in good agreement with data, with average root mean square (rms) error over the year of 0.14 m for the surge elevation and 0.24 m for the significant wave height. It is noted that there is a tendency of the wave model to underestimate the height of northerly waves with lower frequencies (swell). Additionally, when a wave separation algorithm is applied on the overall spectrum, results show consistent underestimation of the swell component by the model, which for the Dutch coast will mainly come from the north, where the North Sea is open to the Atlantic Ocean. In the proposed model system, the swell boundary can have a significant effect on the simulated wave results, suggesting room for improvement for the swell boundary conditions to the north and the swell propagation within the Dutch Continental Shelf Model. Finally, we show that in forecast mode, CoSMoS can provide reasonably good wave and surge prediction.

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