Coastal forecast systems are nowadays essential tools to support sea and harbour management, civil protection emergencies, navigation procedures, military operations and recreation activities. They not only anticipate natural disasters but also the impact of human-made coastal disasters (e.g. wastewater spills, oil and chemical spills) and support in search and rescue operations. These systems are thus very useful for port and coastal managers, civil protection agencies, companies operating in coastal regions as well as researchers and the local communities.
Setting up and maintaining such systems requires a team of experts on coastal dynamics and computer science as well as the availability of computing resources to guarantee the timely delivery of predictions.
Scientists Anabela Oliveira, Alberto Azevedo, André Fortunato, Marta Rodrigues and their teams at the National Laboratory for Civil Engineering in Lisbon, Portugal, have tackled this challenge by taking advantage of a strong coastal dynamics team and IT development, in collaboration with LIP, the University of La Rochelle (CNRS) and the University of Cantabria.