Ocean Dynamics

, Volume 61, Issue 11, pp 1917–1926

The Liverpool Bay Coastal Observatory

Article
Part of the following topical collections:
  1. Topical Collection on the UK National Oceanography Centre’s Irish Sea Coastal Observatory

Abstract

A pilot Coastal Observatory has been established in Liverpool Bay which integrates (near) real-time measurements with coupled models and whose results are displayed on the web. The aim is to understand the functioning of coastal seas, their response to natural forcing and the consequences of human activity. The eastern Irish Sea is an apt test site, since it encompasses a comprehensive range of processes found in tidally dominated coastal seas, including near-shore physical and biogeochemical processes influenced by estuarine inflows, where both vertical and horizontal gradients are important. Applications include hypernutrification, since the region receives significantly elevated levels of nutrient inputs, shoreline management (coastal flooding and beach erosion/accretion), and understanding present conditions to predict the impact of climate change (for instance if the number and severity of storms, or of high or low river flows, change). The integrated measurement suite which started in August 2002 covers a range of space and time scales. It includes in situ time series, four to six weekly regional water column surveys, an instrumented ferry, a shore-based HF radar system measuring surface currents and waves, coastal tide gauges and visible and infra-red satellite data. The time series enable definition of the seasonal cycle, its inter-annual variability and provide a baseline from which the relative importance of events can be quantified. A suite of nested 3D hydrodynamic, wave and ecosystem models is run daily, focusing on the observatory area by covering the ocean/shelf of northwest Europe (at 12-km resolution) and the Irish Sea (at 1.8 km), and Liverpool Bay at the highest resolution of 200 m. The measurements test the models against events as they happen in a truly 3D context. All measurements and model outputs are displayed freely on the Coastal Observatory website (http://cobs.pol.ac.uk) for an audience of researchers, education, coastal managers and the public.

Keywords

Coastal Observatory Irish Sea Measurements Modelling 

References

  1. Amoudry LO, Souza AJ (2011) Impact of sediment-induced stratification and turbulence closeures on sediment transport and morphological modeling. Continental Shelf Research 13(9):912–928. doi:10.1016/j.csr.2011.02.014 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Balfour CA, Howarth MJ, Smithson MJ, Jones DS, Pugh J (2007) The use of ships of opportunity for Irish Sea based oceanographic measurements. In: Oceans '07 IEEE Aberdeen, Conference Proceedings. Marine challenges: coastline to deep sea. Aberdeen, Scotland: IEEE Catalog No. 07EX1527C. 6 ppGoogle Scholar
  3. Baretta-Bekker JG, Baretta JW, Hansen AS, Riemann B (1998) An improved model of carbon and nutrient dynamics in the microbial food web in marine enclosures. Aquat Microb Ecol 14(1):91–108CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Blackford JC, Allen JI, Gilbert FJ (2004) Ecosystem dynamics at six contrasting sites: a generic model study. J Mar Syst 52:217–234CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Bolaños R, Wolf J, Brown J, Osuna P, Monbaliu J, Sánchez-Arcilla A (2009) Comparison of wave-current interaction formulation using POLCOMS-WAM wave-current model. Coastal Engineering. doi:10.1142/9789814277426_0044, World Scientific Publishing, pp. 521–533, ISBN: 13 978-981-4277-36-5
  6. Bolaños R, Osuna P, Wolf J, Monbaliu J, Sanchez-Arcilla A (2010) Development of the POLCOMS-WAM model. Ocean Modelling 36(1–2):102–115Google Scholar
  7. Brown JM (2010) A case study of combined wave and water levels under storm conditions using WAM and SWAN in a shallow water application. Ocean Model 35(3):215–229. doi:10.1016/j.ocemod.2010.07.009 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Brown JM, Wolf J (2009) Coupled wave and surge modelling for the eastern Irish Sea and implications for model wind-stress. Cont Shelf Res 29(10):1329–1342. doi:10.1016/j.cr.2009.03.004 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Brown JM, Souza AJ, Wolf J (2010a) An 11-year validation of wave-surge modelling in the Irish Sea, using a nested POLCOMS-WAM modelling system. Ocean Model 33(1–2):118–128. doi:10.1016/j.ocemod.2009.12.006 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Brown JM, Bolanos R, Wolf J (2010b) Impact assessment of advanced coupling features in a tide-surge-wave model, POLCOMS-WAM, in a shallow water application. Journal of Marine Systems 87(1):13–24CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Brown JM, Bolanos R, Wolf J (2010) A shallow water comparison of radiation stress implemented in 2D and 3D during an extreme storm using a tide-surge-wave modelling system. Coastal Engineering (in press)Google Scholar
  12. Dexter P, Summerhayes CP (2010) Ocean observations—the Global Ocean Observing System (GOOS). Chapter 11. In: Pugh D, Holland G (eds) Troubled Waters: Ocean Science and Governance. CUP, Cambridge, pp 161–178Google Scholar
  13. Dickey TD, Bidigare RR (2005) Interdisciplinary oceanographic observations: the wave of the future. Sci Mar 69(suppl 1):23–42Google Scholar
  14. Draper L, Blakey A (1969) Waves at the Mersey Bar Light Vessel. National Institute of Oceanography Internal Report no. A37, 15 pagesGoogle Scholar
  15. Ebenhoh W, Baretta-Bekker JG, Baretta JW (1997) The primary production module in the marine ecosystem model ERSEM II, with emphasis on the light forcing. J Sea Res 38(3–4):173–193CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Glenn S, Schofield O (2009) Growing a distributed Ocean Observatory: our view from the COOL room. Oceanography 22(2):128–145CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Holt JT, James ID (2001) An s-coordinate density evolving model of the north west European continental shelf. Part 1: Model description and density structure. J Geophys Res 106(C7):14015–14034CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Holt JT, Proctor R (2003) The role of advection in determining the temperature structure of the Irish Sea. J Phys Oceanogr 33(11):2288–2306CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. Hopkins J, Polton J (2010) Spring-neap scales of frontal adjustment and fresh water export in a region of fresh water influence. Ocean Dynamics (in press)Google Scholar
  20. Howarth MJ, Player RJ, Wolf J, Siddons LA (2007) HF radar measurements in Liverpool Bay, Irish Sea. 6 pp. in, Oceans '07 IEEE Aberdeen, conference proceedings. Marine challenges: coastline to deep sea. Aberdeen, Scotland: IEEE Catalog No. 07EX1527CGoogle Scholar
  21. Hughes P (1966) The temperature and salinity of the surface waters of the Irish Sea for the period 1947–61. Geophys J Royal Astron Soc 10:421–435CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. MSFD (2008) Directive 2008/56/EC of The European Parliament and of the Council of 17 June 2008; establishing a framework for community action in the field of marine environmental policy (Marine Strategy Framework Directive)Google Scholar
  23. Osuna P, Wolf J (2005) A numerical study on the effect of wave–current interaction processes in the hydrodynamics of the Irish Sea. In: Proceedings of the Fifth International Conference on Ocean Wave Measurement and Analysis: WAVES2005, Madrid, Spain, 10 ppGoogle Scholar
  24. Palmer, MR, Polton JA (2011) A strain induced freshwater pump in the Liverpool Bay ROFI. Ocean DynamicGoogle Scholar
  25. Polton JA, Palmer MR, Howarth MJ (2011) Physical and dynamical oceanography of Liverpool Bay. Ocean Dynamics. doi:10.1007/s10236-011-0431-6
  26. Proctor R, Howarth MJ (2008) Coastal Observatories and operational oceanography: a European perspective. Mar Technol Soc J 42(3):10–13CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. Proctor R, Holt JT, Allen JI, Blackford J (2003) Nutrient fluxes and budgets for the North West European Shelf from a three-dimensional model. Sci Total Environ 314–315:769–785CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. Schofield O, Glenn S (2004) Introduction to special section: Coastal Ocean Observatories. J Geophys Res 109(C12S01):1–3Google Scholar
  29. Seim HE (2008) Ocean observing systems: regional experience yields global lessons. Mar Technol Soc J 42(3):3CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  30. Simpson JH, Burchard H, Fisher NR, Rippeth TP (2002) The semi-diurnal cycle of dissipation in a ROFI: model-measurement comparisons. Cont Shelf Res 22:1615–1628CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  31. Smyth TJ, Fishwick JR, Galienne CP, Stephens JA, Bale AJ (2010) Technology, design and operation of an autonomous buoy system in the western English Channel. J Atmos Ocean Technol 27:2056–2064. doi:10.1175/2010JTECHO734.1 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  32. Stanev EV, Schulz-Stellenfleth J, Staneva J, Grayek S, Seemann J, Petersen W (2011) Coastal observing and forecasting system for the German Bight—estimates of hydrophysical states. Ocean Sci Discuss 8:829–872. doi:10.5194/osd-8-829-2011 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  33. Tett P et al (2007) Defining and detecting undesirable disturbance in the context of marine eutrophication. Mar Pollut Bull 55:282–297CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  34. Vincent MA, Atkins SM, Lumb CM, Golding N, Lieberknecht LM, Webster M (2004) Marine nature conservation and sustainable development - the Irish Sea Pilot. Report to Defra by the Joint Nature Conservation Committee, PeterboroughGoogle Scholar
  35. Wolf J, Brown J, Howarth MJ (2011) The wave climate of Liverpool bay—observation and modelling. Ocean Dynamics 61(5):639–655. doi:10.1007/s10236-011-0376-9 CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.National Oceanography CentreLiverpoolUK

Personalised recommendations