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Oceanic Flows Research, Environmental Fluid Mechanics

Calf of Man; Drone

Oceanic Flows


Tom Adcock

Chris Vogel

Tidal Stream Resource Assessment

We work on trying to understand the magnitude of the tidal energy resource. A large tidal turbine array will have a significant impact on the flow through a site so it is important to develop models of fast tidal flows which can account for this. It is very difficult to do experiments at this scale (although we have tried) so most of the work is numerical. The main code we use is DG-SWEM. Central to our work is not just modelling but developing the right framework for assessing the resource and developing theoretical models to explain our results.

This work is closely related to the other scales tidal stream research carried out in Oxford. Please see here.

Storm Surge

Coastal flooding from storm surge can cause severe economic damage and endanger life. This threat is likely to be exacerbated by see level rise and more severe meteorology resulting from climate change. We investigate storm surges using numerical modelling. We are particularly interested in the Bristol Channel region and how extreme water levels would be effected by a Severn Barrage.

Tidal Prediction

Tides are driven by the relative movement of Earth, Sun and Moon and hence are inherently predictable. In many regions, the classical technique of harmonic analysis works very well. However, in fast tidal races, this approach breaks down. We are investigating alternative data driven methods, including Bayesian machine learning, to provide an alternative approach to tidal prediction. Preliminary result have been published here.