Regional Numerical Model

Major project 2023-2026 \ Dr Matthew Wadey, BCP Council and Alex Hillawi, Coastal Partners: funded by FCERM GiA (£ tbc)


Numerical modelling of sediment transport and hydrodynamics across the SCOPAC coastline has historically been undertaken by separate authorities or consultants on the basis of the individual requirements posed by separate schemes, strategies, and projects. This way of working usually results in LAs paying for the construction and operation of multiple modelling activities – each one needing a costly new set up whilst minimising opportunities to share methods, data and results.

The launch of a single model for the entire SCOPAC region accessible by all LA members will not only save on repeating model set up exercises but provide a credible and affordable basis for multiple ongoing project applications (hydrodynamic/wave/sediment transport simulations).

Acknowledging these issues, Bournemouth City Council (BCP) in partnership with New Forest District Council, Dorset Council and the Environment Agency, took an approach to join up and centralise their modelling practices, setting up a validated hydrodynamic model for simulating waves, currents, sea level, sand transport and shoreline morphology across their region. The potential for multiple further applications of this model for the wider SCOPAC is coastline is apparent and an appropriate framework can be set up to extend its boundaries using regional tide gauges and wave buoys made available by the National Regional Monitoring Programme.

Aims & Objectives

The aim of this project is to extend, calibrate and validate BCPs model to a regional scale to simulate coastal hydro-and sediment dynamics across the wider SCOPAC/SCG area.

Objectives are to:

  • Utilise bathymetric survey captured through the national regional monitoring programme to refine model for the nearshore zone surrounding the SCOPAC region to a functional resolution;
  • Utilise wave and tidal data captured through the national regional monitoring programme to calibrate wider regional area and part validate model whilst maintaining practical run time;
  • Provide a viable system of access for all Local Authorities and the Environment Agency within SCOPAC.

Expected Outputs

This project will yield a single numerical modelling platform accessible for all member authorities. This will facilitate less duplication of workloads and delivering multiple efficiencies allowing:

  • Lower expenditure to deliver projects;
  • A valuable platform to interlink coastal process understanding between SMP; cells and sub cells providing an invaluable resource for the upcoming STS update;
  • Generate outputs of highly relevant local understanding;
  • Support Strategy Studies, BMPs and coastal defence schemes.