The impacts of wave farms (arrays of wave energy converters, or WECs) on the nearshore must be fully understood for wave technology to develop and thus contribute to a sustainable, carbon-free energy mix in the near future. The objective of this work is to investigate the role played by the farm layout on the wave propagation patterns leewards and the implications for longshore sediment transport (LST) and shoreline evolution on a gravel-dominated deltaic coast. Changes in wave propagation in four scenarios, corresponding to as many wave farm layouts, are computed by means of a spectral numerical model (Delft3D-WAVE) under (i) low-energy and storm conditions, and (ii) westerly and easterly waves - the two prevailing wave directions. On this basis, sediment transport rates are computed and changes in the shoreline position assessed using a one-line model. To quantify the impact of the wave farm on the nearshore wave conditions, sediment transport and shoreline, we define three ad hoc indicators: the non-dimensional wave height reduction, the non-dimensional LST rate reduction and the non-dimensional shoreline advance. Significant wave heightsdecrease in the lee of the wave farm, with the consequent reduction in LST rates. As a result, the dry beach area increases in every scenario under both westerly and easterly waves. We find that case studies with the WECs arranged on fewer rows but covering a greater stretch of coastline provide better coastal protection. These results confirm that wave farms can be used not only to generate carbon-free energy but also to protect gravel-dominated coasts.
Protection of gravel-dominated coasts through wave farms: Layout and shoreline evolution
Title: Protection of gravel-dominated coasts through wave farms: Layout and shoreline evolution
September 15, 2018
Journal: Science of the Total Environment
Publisher: Elsevier Ltd.
Rodriguez-Delgado, C.; Bergillos, R.; Ortega-Sánchez, M.; Iglesias, G. (2018). Protection of gravel-dominated coasts through wave farms: Layout and shoreline evolution. Science of the Total Environment, 636, 1541-1552.