Impacts of a Wave Farm on Waves, Currents and Coastal Morphology in South West England

R. González-Santamaría, Qingping Zou, Shunqi Pan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

21 Citations (Scopus)
26 Downloads (Pure)


This study investigates impacts of a wave farm on waves, currents and coastal morphology adjacent to the wave farm, which is located in the Southwest of England (the Wave Hub). In this study, we focus on the interaction between waves and tides due to the presence of the wave farm and its effects on wave radiation stresses, bottom shear stresses and consequently on the sediment transport and the coast adjacent to the wave farm, using an integrated numerical modelling system. The modelling system consists of the near-shore wave model SWAN, the ocean circulation model ROMS and a sediment transport model for morphological evolution. The results show that tidal elevation and tidal currents can have a significant effect on waves and that tidal forcing and waves have a significant effect on bottom shear stresses. Waves can impact on the processes related to the bottom boundary layer and mixing intensity in the water column. The wave farm has an impact on the gradients of radiation shear stresses and bottom shear stresses that modify current speeds and wave heights, which in turn impact on the near-shore sediment transport and the resulting morphological changes. Bed load transport rates show a decrease when the wave farm is present, even during storm conditions. The results highlight the importance of the interactions between waves and tides when modelling coastal morphology with presence of wave energy devices.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)159-172
Number of pages14
JournalEstuaries and Coasts
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2015


  • Coastal morphology
  • ROMS
  • Sediment transport
  • SWAN
  • Wave farm
  • Wave–tide interaction
  • wave-current interaction

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics
  • Ecology
  • Aquatic Science


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