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Numerical Analysis and Diagnosis of the Hydrodynamic Effects Produced by Hurricane Gordon along the Coast of Spain

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  • 1 Environmental Hydraulics Institute, Santander, Cantabria, Spain
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Abstract

This paper presents a detailed hindcast for the generation and propagation of sea state variables—significant wave height H s, peak period T p, mean direction θ, and spectral shape γσ —associated with cyclonic events to numerically diagnose their possible hydrodynamic effects over the northeastern Atlantic. An example of such cyclonic events is Hurricane Gordon, which occurred during the second half of August 2012. Extreme hurricane-strength winds produced new and atypically low-frequency (about 14 s) packs of energy. The preexistent wave spectrum suddenly experienced an addition of low-frequency energy along the coast of Cádiz, Spain. This study presents the results of a comprehensive analysis developed to reconstruct the events produced by Hurricane Gordon (2012) along the coast of Cádiz. The analysis features the use of (i) parametric models for the characterization of hurricane winds and pressure fields, (ii) implementation of the Simulating Waves Nearshore (SWAN) model for the generation and propagation of waves in the northeast Atlantic Ocean, and (iii) its coupling with the MOPLA—taken from the Spanish acronym for wave propagation model, current, and morphodynamic evolution of beaches—model for the evaluation of longshore currents. The numerical wave characterization, generation, and propagation were validated with instrumental data from deep-water and coastal buoys.

Corresponding author address: Gabriel Diaz-Hernandez, Environmental Hydraulics Institute, Universidad de Cantabria, c/ Isabel Torres 15, Parque Cientfico y Tecnológico de Cantabria, Santander 39011, Cantabria, Spain. E-mail: diazg@unican.es

Abstract

This paper presents a detailed hindcast for the generation and propagation of sea state variables—significant wave height H s, peak period T p, mean direction θ, and spectral shape γσ —associated with cyclonic events to numerically diagnose their possible hydrodynamic effects over the northeastern Atlantic. An example of such cyclonic events is Hurricane Gordon, which occurred during the second half of August 2012. Extreme hurricane-strength winds produced new and atypically low-frequency (about 14 s) packs of energy. The preexistent wave spectrum suddenly experienced an addition of low-frequency energy along the coast of Cádiz, Spain. This study presents the results of a comprehensive analysis developed to reconstruct the events produced by Hurricane Gordon (2012) along the coast of Cádiz. The analysis features the use of (i) parametric models for the characterization of hurricane winds and pressure fields, (ii) implementation of the Simulating Waves Nearshore (SWAN) model for the generation and propagation of waves in the northeast Atlantic Ocean, and (iii) its coupling with the MOPLA—taken from the Spanish acronym for wave propagation model, current, and morphodynamic evolution of beaches—model for the evaluation of longshore currents. The numerical wave characterization, generation, and propagation were validated with instrumental data from deep-water and coastal buoys.

Corresponding author address: Gabriel Diaz-Hernandez, Environmental Hydraulics Institute, Universidad de Cantabria, c/ Isabel Torres 15, Parque Cientfico y Tecnológico de Cantabria, Santander 39011, Cantabria, Spain. E-mail: diazg@unican.es
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