Practical sea-level and wave climate information for small-island states
We will present example wave and sea-level advice, generated for Saint Vincent and the Grenadines. Through collaboration with local planners and other coastal stakeholders we have identified particular areas at risk from changing water level and wave conditions. By using results from the numerical wave model WaveWatch III with global and regional coverage, we can provide local information on changing risk from rising mean sea-levels and episodic storm events. We then use the SWAN wave model for dynamic downscaling to capture nearshore wave processes and wave setup. These methods draw-out bespoke, island-scale information and projections of risk from waves and rising-sea level, on which to base practical decision making and planning. Our wave model is able to accurately capture wave conditions in the Caribbean Sea observed during past hurricane events, and synthetic storms to investigate worst-case scenarios.
Lessons learnt from this work apply to other SIS, either in the path of direct tropical cyclone impact, or those threatened by swell waves from remote storms. The challenge of generalising these results to other small island and archipelago settings is two-fold, as it depends on the geographic character of the island, and exposure to storms and their character.