GIS based wave modelling for coastal management
The effective management of the Coastal Zone requires an appreciation of the complex nature of the processes at work. Decisions relating to its management require the modelling of these processes which in turn calls upon a large number of disparate data sets. The most effective way to relate these data to each other, to facilitate their subsequent analysis, and to allow clear visualisation, is by geographical position. This thesis describes work aimed at improving the efficiency and applicability of coastal process models in shoreline management decisions by integrating spatial data and coastal
processes in a GIS environment. A Geographic Information System has been integrated with a coastal wave model. The resulting system is shown to simplify the modelling procedures, to facilitate the generation of input data and incorporate functionality for the visualisation and analysis of model results. Increased automation makes coastal process modelling less complicated and more accessible to non- specialists. The integrated system developed has extended the capability of the wave model to generate wave data. Wave height, period, and direction can be generated for discrete points at any density along an inshore contour. These results are visualised and analysed in the GIS. The system has been further developed to demonstrate its decision support capabilities. It is adapted for a typical dredging application. New tools allow the bathymetry to be `excavated' simulating sediment removal; and subsequent modelling quantifies its impact on the inshore wave conditions, which are then reported back to the user. The system and tools are assessed using two test areas. The benefits of using the integrated system are evaluated by comparison with the experience of using wave models in isolation when investigating coastal management issues. Finally, directions and suggestions for further work are discussed.