Special Issue "Effect of Climate Change on Coastal Hydrodynamics"

A special issue of Water (ISSN 2073-4441). This special issue belongs to the section "Oceans and Coastal Zones".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 30 June 2021.

Special Issue Editors

Prof. Dr. Joan Pau Sierra
Website
Guest Editor
Laboratori d’Enginyeria Marítima, Universitat Politècnica de Catalunya - BARCELONATECH, Barcelona, Spain
Interests: climate change; coastal engineering; marine hydrodynamics; marine renewable energies; port engineering; water quality
Special Issues and Collections in MDPI journals
Assoc. Prof. Dr. Vicente Gracia
Website
Guest Editor
Laboratori d’Enginyeria Marítima, Universitat Politècnica de Catalunya—BARCELONATECH, Barcelona, Spain
Interests: climate change; coastal engineering; coastal hazards; marine hydrodynamics; coastal processes

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Climate change generates impacts on the environment, particularly in vulnerable systems like coasts, which are exposed to sea level rise (SLR). Moreover, potential changes in wind and atmospheric pressure patterns will modify hydrodynamic processes like storm surge and wave climate, which are fundamental driving terms on the coast. Since seaports are located on the coast, they are also susceptible to being affected by SLR and wave storms. In addition, lowlying beaches will accommodate these new forcing conditions.

SLR will induce more frequent coastal flooding, and it will increase the water depth around and inside harbours, modifying wave propagation patterns that can, in turn, produce other impacts on beaches and ports, affecting processes such as sediment transport, wave agitation (oscillations due to wind waves within the port), and coastal structure stability. On the other hand, changes in wave height will modify the amount of energy impacting coasts or entering into harbours, while changes in wave period or direction will modify propagation processes such as shoaling, refraction, and diffraction, thus likely inducing changes in sediment transport patterns (potentially generating beach erosion or port siltation) or wave penetration into harbours, affecting port operability.

This Special Issue of Water calls for innovative research papers (at a local, regional, or global scale) on the following topics:

  • Changes in storm surge or wave climate in coastal areas due to alterations in atmospheric circulation;
  • Changes in coastal and port hydrodynamics, in particular wave and current patterns due to SLR;
  • Impacts generated by these changes, including overtopping and stability of coastal and port structures, port siltation, coastal flooding, and changes in sediment transport patterns.

Papers dealing with adaptation measures to prevent or reduce such impacts will also be welcome. In addition, contributions that describe the socioeconomic consequences of the aforementioned impacts also fit the scope of this Special Issue.

Prof. Dr. Joan Pau Sierra
Assoc. Prof. Dr. Vicente Gracia
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All papers will be peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Water is an international peer-reviewed open access semimonthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 2000 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Keywords

  • sea level rise
  • wave climate
  • storm surge
  • coastal hydrodynamics
  • port agitation
  • overtopping
  • beach response
  • coastal flooding
  • adaptation to climate change
  • socioeconomic impacts

Published Papers (8 papers)

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Research

Open AccessArticle
Future Changes in Wave Conditions at the German Baltic Sea Coast Based on a Hybrid Approach Using an Ensemble of Regional Climate Change Projections
Water 2021, 13(2), 167; https://doi.org/10.3390/w13020167 - 12 Jan 2021
Abstract
In this study, the projected future long-term changes of the local wave conditions at the German Baltic Sea coast over the course of the 21st century are analyzed and assessed with special focus on model agreement, statistical significance and ranges/spread of the results. [...] Read more.
In this study, the projected future long-term changes of the local wave conditions at the German Baltic Sea coast over the course of the 21st century are analyzed and assessed with special focus on model agreement, statistical significance and ranges/spread of the results. An ensemble of new regional climate model (RCM) simulations with the RCM REMO for three RCP forcing scenarios was used as input data. The outstanding feature of the simulations is that the data are available with a high horizontal resolution and at hourly timesteps which is a high temporal resolution and beneficial for the wind–wave modelling. A new data interface between RCM output data and wind–wave modelling has been developed. Suitable spatial aggregation methods of the RCM wind data have been tested and used to generate input for the calculation of waves at quasi deep-water conditions and at a mean water level with a hybrid approach that enables the fast compilation of future long-term time series of significant wave height, mean wave period and direction for an ensemble of RCM data. Changes of the average wind and wave conditions have been found, with a majority of the changes occurring for the RCP8.5 forcing scenario and at the end of the 21st century. At westerly wind-exposed locations mainly increasing values of the wind speed, significant wave height and mean wave period have been noted. In contrast, at easterly wind-exposed locations, decreasing values are predominant. Regarding the changes of the mean wind and wave directions, westerly directions becoming more frequent. Additional research is needed regarding the long-term changes of extreme wave events, e.g., the choice of a best-fit extreme value distribution function and the spatial aggregation method of the wind data. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Effect of Climate Change on Coastal Hydrodynamics)
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Open AccessArticle
Impact of Climate Change on Nearshore Waves at a Beach Protected by a Barrier Reef
Water 2020, 12(6), 1681; https://doi.org/10.3390/w12061681 - 12 Jun 2020
Abstract
Barrier reefs dissipate most incoming wind-generated waves and, as a consequence, regulate the morphodynamics of its inbounded shorelines. The coastal protective capacity of reefs may nevertheless be compromised by climate change effects, such as reef degradation and sea-level rise. To assess the magnitude [...] Read more.
Barrier reefs dissipate most incoming wind-generated waves and, as a consequence, regulate the morphodynamics of its inbounded shorelines. The coastal protective capacity of reefs may nevertheless be compromised by climate change effects, such as reef degradation and sea-level rise. To assess the magnitude of these climate change effects, an analysis of the waves propagating across the barrier reef is carried out in Flic-en-Flac beach, Mauritius, based on scenarios of future sea levels and predicted coral reef condition. In the study, both the mean wave climate and extreme event conditions are considered. The results show that lower coral structure complexity jointly with higher water levels allow for higher waves to pass over the reef and, therefore, to reach the shoreline. In addition, modeling for cyclonic conditions showed that nearshore waves would also increase in height, which could lead to major coastal morphodynamic changes. Measures aimed at preserving the coral reef may allow the system to accommodate for the gradual climatic changes forecasted while keeping its coastal protective function. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Effect of Climate Change on Coastal Hydrodynamics)
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Open AccessEditor’s ChoiceArticle
Modeling of Future Extreme Storm Surges at the NW Mediterranean Coast (Spain)
Water 2020, 12(2), 472; https://doi.org/10.3390/w12020472 - 10 Feb 2020
Cited by 1
Abstract
Storm surges are one of the main drivers for extreme flooding at the coastal areas. Such events can be characterized with the maximum level in an extreme storm surge event (surge peak), as well as the duration of the event. Surge projections come [...] Read more.
Storm surges are one of the main drivers for extreme flooding at the coastal areas. Such events can be characterized with the maximum level in an extreme storm surge event (surge peak), as well as the duration of the event. Surge projections come from a barotropic model for the 1950–2100 period, under a severe climate change scenario (RCP 8.5) at the northeastern Spanish coast. The relationship of extreme storm surges to three large-scale climate patterns was assessed: North Atlantic Oscillation ( N A O ), East Atlantic Pattern ( E A W R ), and Scandinavian Pattern ( S C ). The statistical model was built using two different strategies. In Strategy #1, the joint probability density was characterized by a moving-average series of stationary Archimedean copula, whereas in Strategy #2, the joint probability density was characterized by a non-stationary probit copula. The parameters of the marginal distribution and the copula were defined with generalized additive models. The analysis showed that the mean values of surge peak and event duration were constant and were independent of the proposed climate patterns. However, the values of N A O and S C influenced the threshold and the storminess of extreme events. According to Strategy #1, the variance of the surge peak and event duration increased with a fast shift of negative S C and a positive N A O , respectively. Alternatively, Strategy #2 showed that the variance of the surge peak increased with a positive E A W R . Both strategies coincided in that the joint dependence of the maximum surge level and the duration of extreme surges ranged from low to medium degree. Its mean value was stationary, and its variability was linked to the geographical location. Finally, Strategy #2 helped determine that this dependence increased with negative N A O . Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Effect of Climate Change on Coastal Hydrodynamics)
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Open AccessArticle
Coastal Flooding and Erosion under a Changing Climate: Implications at a Low-Lying Coast (Ebro Delta)
Water 2020, 12(2), 346; https://doi.org/10.3390/w12020346 - 25 Jan 2020
Cited by 4
Abstract
Episodic coastal hazards associated to sea storms are responsible for sudden and intense changes in coastal morphology. Climate change and local anthropogenic activities such as river regulation and urban growth are raising risk levels in coastal hotspots, like low-lying areas of river deltas. [...] Read more.
Episodic coastal hazards associated to sea storms are responsible for sudden and intense changes in coastal morphology. Climate change and local anthropogenic activities such as river regulation and urban growth are raising risk levels in coastal hotspots, like low-lying areas of river deltas. This urges to revise present management strategies to guarantee their future sustainability, demanding a detailed diagnostic of the hazard evolution. In this paper, flooding and erosion under current and future conditions have been assessed at local scale at the urban area of Riumar, a touristic enclave placed at the Ebro Delta (Spain). Process-based models have been used to address the interaction between beach morphology and storm waves, as well as the influence of coastal environment complexity. Storm waves have been propagated with SWAN wave model and have provided the forcings for XBeach, a 2DH hydro-morphodynamic model. Results show that future trends in sea level rise and wave forcing produce non-linear variations of the flooded area and the volume of mobilized sediment resulting from marine storms. In particular, the balance between flooding and sediment transport will shift depending on the relative sea level. Wave induced flooding and long-shore sand transport seem to be diminished in the future, whereas static sea level flooding and cross-shore sediment transport are exacerbated. Therefore, the characterization of tipping points in the coastal response can help to develop robust and adaptive plans to manage climate change impact in sandy wave dominated coasts with a low-lying hinterland and a complex shoreline morphology. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Effect of Climate Change on Coastal Hydrodynamics)
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Open AccessArticle
Addressing Long-Term Operational Risk Management in Port Docks under Climate Change Scenarios—A Spanish Case Study
Water 2019, 11(10), 2153; https://doi.org/10.3390/w11102153 - 16 Oct 2019
Cited by 4
Abstract
Ports are strategic hubs of the logistic chain and are likely to be exposed to natural hazard events. Variation of metocean agents derived from climate change, such as sea level rise or changes in the magnitude, frequency, duration, and direction of storms, can [...] Read more.
Ports are strategic hubs of the logistic chain and are likely to be exposed to natural hazard events. Variation of metocean agents derived from climate change, such as sea level rise or changes in the magnitude, frequency, duration, and direction of storms, can modify the infrastructural and operational vulnerability of port areas and activities, demanding the development of adaptation or mitigation strategies. In this context, the present paper is aimed to propose a downscaling methodology for addressing local effects at port scale. In addition, based on previously identifying and defining the Areas of Operational Interest (AOIs) inside ports, an approach towards the evaluation of operational vulnerability is offered. The whole process is applied, as a practical case, to the Port of Gijón (Spain) for different General Circulation Models (GCMs), concentration scenarios, and time horizons. The results highlight, in line with other publications, that inter-model differences are, so far, more significant than intra-model differences from dissimilar time horizons or concentration scenarios. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Effect of Climate Change on Coastal Hydrodynamics)
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Open AccessArticle
Economic Impact of Overtopping and Adaptation Measures in Catalan Ports Due to Sea Level Rise
Water 2019, 11(7), 1440; https://doi.org/10.3390/w11071440 - 12 Jul 2019
Cited by 1
Abstract
In this paper, the impact of sea level rise (SLR) throughout the 21st century in the overtopping of port breakwaters is analyzed at a regional scale, focusing on the Catalan coast (NW Mediterranean). The study is made considering three scenarios of SLR and [...] Read more.
In this paper, the impact of sea level rise (SLR) throughout the 21st century in the overtopping of port breakwaters is analyzed at a regional scale, focusing on the Catalan coast (NW Mediterranean). The study is made considering three scenarios of SLR and two levels of storminess, computing the overtopping discharges in 47 ports to assess those exceeding a tolerable threshold and to roughly estimate the monetary value of the consequences of such discharges. Possible adaptation measures are examined, selecting the most cost-effective and assessing the cost of its implementation for the different scenarios and two damage levels. Results show that, as it could be expected, the number of ports affected by overtopping will increase with SLR, as well as the economic impact. Another remarkable finding of this paper is the significant savings in adaptation measures achieved allowing a minimum level of damage in contrast to the zero-damage option. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Effect of Climate Change on Coastal Hydrodynamics)
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Open AccessArticle
Assessment of Climate Change Impacts in the North Adriatic Coastal Area. Part II: Consequences for Coastal Erosion Impacts at the Regional Scale
Water 2019, 11(6), 1300; https://doi.org/10.3390/w11061300 - 21 Jun 2019
Cited by 5
Abstract
Coastal erosion is an issue of major concern for coastal managers and is expected to increase in magnitude and severity due to global climate change. This paper analyzes the potential consequences of climate change on coastal erosion (e.g., impacts on beaches, wetlands and [...] Read more.
Coastal erosion is an issue of major concern for coastal managers and is expected to increase in magnitude and severity due to global climate change. This paper analyzes the potential consequences of climate change on coastal erosion (e.g., impacts on beaches, wetlands and protected areas) by applying a Regional Risk Assessment (RRA) methodology to the North Adriatic (NA) coast of Italy. The approach employs hazard scenarios from a multi-model chain in order to project the spatial and temporal patterns of relevant coastal erosion stressors (i.e., increases in mean sea-level, changes in wave height and variations in the sediment mobility at the sea bottom) under the A1B climate change scenario. Site-specific environmental and socio-economic indicators (e.g., vegetation cover, geomorphology, population) and hazard metrics are then aggregated by means of Multi-Criteria Decision Analysis (MCDA) with the aim to provide an example of exposure, susceptibility, risk and damage maps for the NA region. Among seasonal exposure maps winter and autumn depict the worse situation in 2070–2100, and locally around the Po river delta. Risk maps highlight that the receptors at higher risk are beaches, wetlands and river mouths. The work presents the results of the RRA tested in the NA region, discussing how spatial risk mapping can be used to establish relative priorities for intervention, to identify hot-spot areas and to provide a basis for the definition of coastal adaptation and management strategies. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Effect of Climate Change on Coastal Hydrodynamics)
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Open AccessArticle
Assessment of Climate Change Impacts in the North Adriatic Coastal Area. Part I: A Multi-Model Chain for the Definition of Climate Change Hazard Scenarios
Water 2019, 11(6), 1157; https://doi.org/10.3390/w11061157 - 01 Jun 2019
Cited by 6
Abstract
Climate scenarios produce climate change-related information and data at a geographical scale generally not useful for coastal planners to study impacts locally. To provide a suitable characterization of climate-related hazards in the North Adriatic Sea coast, a model chain, with progressively higher resolution [...] Read more.
Climate scenarios produce climate change-related information and data at a geographical scale generally not useful for coastal planners to study impacts locally. To provide a suitable characterization of climate-related hazards in the North Adriatic Sea coast, a model chain, with progressively higher resolution was developed and implemented. It includes Global and Regional Circulation Models representing atmospheric and oceanic dynamics for the global and sub-continental domains, and hydrodynamic/wave models useful to analyze physical impacts of sea-level rise and coastal erosion at a sub-national/local scale. The model chain, integrating multiple types of numerical models running at different spatial scales, provides information about spatial and temporal patterns of relevant hazard metrics (e.g., sea temperature, atmospheric pressure, wave height), usable to represent climate-induced events causing potential environmental or socio-economic damages. Furthermore, it allows the discussion of some methodological problems concerning the application of climate scenarios and their dynamical downscaling to the assessment of the impacts in coastal zones. Based on a balanced across all energy sources emission scenario, the multi-model chain applied in the North Adriatic Sea allowed to assess the change in frequency of exceedance of wave height and bottom stress critical thresholds for sediment motion in the future scenario (2070–2100) compared to the reference period 1960 to 1990. As discussed in the paper, such projections can be used to develop coastal erosion hazard scenarios, which can then be applied to risk assessment studies, providing valuable information to mainstream climate change adaptation in coastal zone management. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Effect of Climate Change on Coastal Hydrodynamics)
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