There are many regions throughout the world which concurrently experience a high wave and a high tidal energy resource. These regions include the northwest European shelf seas, the Gulf of Alaska, New Zealand, northwest Australia, and the Atlantic seaboard of Argentina. Due to wave-tidal interactions, special consideration needs to be given to energy schemes developed in such regions. In particular, resource assessments of such regions should account for the way that one marine resource (e.g. waves) modulates other marine resources (e.g. tides) at a variety of timescales.
In the present research, a coupled wave-tide model of the NW European shelf seas has been developed using SWAN-ROMS. After model validation at a number of tidal gauges and wave buoys the effect of tides on the wave resource assessment is presented. Results of analysis based on linear wave theory, and the application of a non-linear coupled wave-tide model, suggest that the impact of tides on waves can be significant in site assessment, and can exceed 10% in some regions. We also conclude that it is the tidal currents, rather than tidal depth variations, that are the main factor at this scale. While a coupled model can theoretically implement many wave-tide interaction processes, the application of the model at shelf scale is highly constrained by computational cost, model resolution and data availability.