FREE - Round 1 - Ensemble Prediction of Innundation Risk and Uncertainty arising from Scour (EPIRUS) Project

* Introduction

Sea level rise is now acknowledged as a real threat to our coastal towns and cities. In addition, global climate changes may lead to increasingly frequency and severity of storms. As a result the value of he UK's assets at risk from flooding by the sea have significantly increased. The current UK coastal flood defences, which have typically been designed to cope with severe storm events with a return period of 50-100 years, may be now inadequate to protect the coastal areas under threat. To improve the design of future coastal defences requires a better understanding of the linkages between atmosphere, ocean and seabed; as well as improved quantification of the inherent uncertainties in the predictions.

This joint research proposal between the Universities of Plymouth, Bristol and Liverpool, aims to develop a robust and integrated "Cloud-to-Coast" modelling framework which will include the complex interactions between atmosphere, ocean and coastal flood and erosion, so that the flood risk in the coastal areas from the extreme events, such as severe storms, can be accurately predicted and assessed. The project will use various existing proven computer programmes together with necessary further developments to provide information on meteorological conditions under severe storms, the associated surge and wave conditions, as well as detailed transformation of wind and waves from the offshore to areas close to shoreline in order to predict coastal flood and erosion due to wave overtopping and scour.

Project Duration: January 2007 - January 2011.

This project is funded by NERC - Grant Ref. NE/E002129/1 - through the Flood Risk for Etreme Events (FREE) NERC directed mode programme.

* Availability of data

This project will develop an integrated cascade framework of three types of model. The output from meteorological models [UM and MM5/WRF (open source model from PSU/NCAR)] will feed into a regional tide and wave models [POLCOMS, coastal process models (UL)], which in turn will feed into a hydrodynamic and morphological model [COBRAS (which will be extended in-house)].

These models will use a range of data types including ERA40 data and UM mesoscale products, and will be validated against data collected during previous projects such as LEACOAST and LEACOAST2 and data from case studies in appropriate areas.

The aim of this project is to develop the model framework and as such no substantial data sets are expected to be archived. However, the BADC has advised the research team of the need to archive and document model out from runs used in publications in order to ensure its preservation long-term.

The data and metadata from this project will be stored at the British Oceanographic Data Centre (BODC). A copy of the metadata will be stored at the BADC.

* Access to data and information

Data and metadata from this project will be stored at the BODC.

A copy of the metadata will be stored in the BADC FREE EPIRUS project archive.

Access to FREE data held at the BADC will be restricted to the FREE participants during a restricted access period ending two years after the end date of each project. Data will be made publicly accessible after that date.

If you are a FREE participant and wish to access restricted FREE data, please

* Instructions for data providers

FREE participants wishing to submit data should read the submission instructions. If you have publications arising from FREE research please send details [title, author(s), reference] to the BADC help desk for inclusion in the archive.


BODC website -

EPIRUS website -

* Who to contact

This FREE project is headed by Dr Qingping Zou of the University of Plymouth, with co-investigators at the University of Plymouth, and at the University of Bristol.

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