Coastal Model Calibration


The next generation of coastal hydrodynamic and water quality models will be used for prediction of bathing and shellfish water quality. This represents a step change in the expectations and demands of clients of the modelling community.

CREH has developed  a set of new calibration tools to address this new agenda which have been applied to model calibration along the Yorkshire coast, in the Severn estuary and along the Fylde coast.

These include:

     -new multiple microbial tracer systems  which deliver simultaneous time of travel and dilution data from multiple sources to multiple compliance sites;

   -calibration of site specific microbial decay coefficients to drive real-time microbial decay coefficients (T90 values), perhaps the key parameter in reliable predictive modelling; and

        -GPS enabled drogues for near-surface current tracking using multiple sail depths.

An appropriate equipment and skills inventory supports this capability including 4 MCA coded commercial vessels, 5 in-house ADCPs, multi-parameter water quality sondes, irradiance profile  measurement in the water column, depth samplers for water quality acquisition and sediment grab samplers.

All our MCA coded commercial coastal survey boats are road towable and can be moved quickly to new sites.

Beach sampling is supported by 2 two-person ATVs for 24/7 operation in the tidal zone and we have a full range of safety kit for boat and beach staff including dry suites, personal locator beacons, life jackets and thermal clothing.

Wyer, M., Kay, D., Watkins, J., Davies, C., Kay, C., Thomas, R., Porter, J., Stapleton., C. and Moore, H. (2010) Evaluating short-term changes in recreational water quality during a hydrograph event using combined microbial tracer experiments, environmental microbiology, source tracking and hydrological techniques. Water Research 44, 4783-4795. (

Stapleton, C.M., Kay, D., Wyer, M.D., Davies, C., Watkins, J., Kay, C., McDonald, A.T., Porter, J., Gawler, A. (2009)Evaluating the operational utility of a bacteroidales quantitative PCR-based MST approach in determining the source of faecal indicator organisms at a UK bathing water. Water Research 43, 4888-4899.  (doi:10.1016/j.watres.2009.09.015).

Kay, D., Stapleton, C. M., Wyer, M. D., McDonald, A. T., Crowther, J., Paul, N., Jones, K., Francis, C., Watkins, J., Humphrey, N., Lin, B., Yang, L., Falconer, R. A. and Gardner, S. (2005). Decay of intestinal enterococci concentrations in high energy estuarine and coastal waters: towards real-time T90 values for modelling faecal indicators in recreational waters. Water Research 39, 655-667. (doi:10.1016/j.watres.2004.11.014).

Stapleton, C., Wyer, M., Crowther, J., Francis, F., Watkins, J., Rushby, L., Wilkinson, J. and Kay, D. (2002) Towards dynamical modelling of bacterial concentrations in the near-shore zone: I Driving the models with dynamic input variables and assumptions. Proceedings of the 13th International Association for Hydraulic Research/APD Congress Singapore. World Scientific Vol II August, pp 1025-1029.