Viability, Development, and Reliability Assessment of Coupled Coastal Forecasting Systems
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Real-time wave forecasts are critical to a variety of coastal and offshore opera- tions. NOAA’s global wave forecasts, at present, do not extend into many coastal regions of interest. Even after more than two decades of the historical Exxon Valdez disaster, Cook Inlet (CI) and Prince William Sound (PWS) are regions that suffer from a lack of accurate wave forecast information. This dissertation develops high- resolution integrated wave forecasting schemes for these regions in order to meet the critical requirements associated with shipping, commercial and sport fishing vessel safety, and oil spill response. This dissertation also performs a detailed qualitative and quantitative assessment of the impact of various forcing functions on wave pre- dictions, and develops maps showing extreme variations in significant wave heights (SWHs). For instance, it is found that the SWH could vary by as much as 1 m in the northern CI region in the presence of currents (hence justifying the need for integration of the wave model with a circulation model). Such maps can be useful for several engineering operations, and could also serve as guidance tool as to what can be expected in certain regions. Aside from the system development, the issue of forecast reliability is also addressed for PWS region in the context of the associated uncertainty which confronts the manager of engineering operations or other planners. For this purpose, high-resolution 36-h daily forecasts of SWHs are compared with measurements from buoys and satellites for about a year. The results show that 70% of the peak SWHs in the range 5-8 m were predicted with an accuracy of 15% or less for a forecast lead time of 9 h. On average, results indicate 70% or greater likelihood of the prediction falling within a tolerance of ±(1*RMSE) for all lead times. This analysis could not be performed for CI due to lack of data sources.
Singhal, Gaurav (2011). Viability, Development, and Reliability Assessment of Coupled Coastal Forecasting Systems. Doctoral dissertation, Texas A&M University. Available electronically from