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Integrated modelling of urban, rural and coastal domains for bathing water quality prediction – Smart Coasts and Acclimatize Projects
2018-06-27, O'Sullivan, J. J., Bedri, Zeinab, Corkery, Aisling, Deering, Louise, Demeter, Katalin, Meijer, Wim, Masterson, Bartholemew, O'Hare, G. M. P. (Greg M. P.)
This paper presents the results of the Interreg funded SMARTCOASTS project in which an integrated catchment (MIKE11) and coastal (MIKE21 and MIKE3) modelling tool was developed for predicting the bathing water quality, at Bray, Co. Wicklow, on the east coast of Ireland. The Bray bathing waters had historically been prone to episodic short-term pollution, caused primarily by rainfall related catchment run-off. Accounting fully for the complexity of the pollution inputs for water quality prediction in the system required an integrated modelling approach. The approach for integrating the individual component models (NAM, MIKE 11, and MIKE 3 FM) was simple but efficient. The component models, interfaced to the core of the forecasting system, were run sequentially, i.e. in the form of a cascade with the forcing of each downstream model being the result of the model upstream of it. Rainfall (both forecasted and measured) drives the hydrological processes in the NAM model, which produces runoff that generates sub-catchment inflows into the river network. The output from NAM serves as the input to the MIKE 11 model which routes the flow and water quality variables in the river network and transports them to the coastal waters. Finally, the MIKE 3 FM coastal model uses flow and water quality outputs from MIKE 11, together with tidal and meteorological data, to simulate the current flow, transport and fate of water quality variables in the marine environment. Models were calibrated using measured data. Adjustment of the tidal constituents of the MIKE global model resulted in a markedly improved fit to measured water levels at five reference tidal gauges, used for calibration. Bottom friction was calibrated to produce good correlations of measured and simulated current speed and direction. When applied to water quality prediction, results of the transport model showed that the model adequately replicated measurements of E.coli and Intestinal Enterococci within the coastal domain. Computational simulations of bathing water quality are not without difficulty and a significant challenge in this work involved incorporating real-time meteorological data from a sensor network within the catchment into the model predictions. The work of Smart Coasts is currently being built on in the Interreg funded Acclimatize project. Acclimatize is focussing on the bathing waters of Dublin Bay and involves the development of a modelling platform that will facilitate a longer-term assessment of the likely pressures on bathing water quality in the context of a changed climate.