Data assimilation for a coastal area morphodynamic model: Morecambe Bay
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To link to this article DOI: 10.1016/j.coastaleng.2006.08.008
This paper investigates the use of data assimilation in coastal area morphodynamic modelling using Morecambe Bay as a study site. A simple model of the bay has been enhanced with a data assimilation scheme to better predict large-scale changes in bathymetry observed in the bay over a 3-year period. The 2DH decoupled morphodynamic model developed for the work is described, as is the optimal interpolation scheme used to assimilate waterline observations into the model run. Each waterline was acquired from a SAR satellite image and is essentially a contour of the bathymetry at some level within the inter-tidal zone of the bay. For model parameters calibrated against validation observations, model performance is good, even without data assimilation. However the use of data assimilation successfully compensates for a particular failing of the model, and helps to keep the model bathymetry on track. It also improves the ability of the model to predict future bathymetry. Although the benefits of data assimilation are demonstrated using waterline observations, any observations of morphology could potentially be used. These results suggest that data assimilation should be considered for use in future coastal area morphodynamic models.