Sclavo, M., Benetazzo, A., Carniel, S., Bergamasco, A., Falcieri, F.M., and Bonaldo, D., 2013. Wave-current interaction effect on sediment dispersal in a shallow semi-enclosed basin
The shallow northern Adriatic Sea (namely Gulf of Venice) serves as a model for exploring the interaction of surface gravity waves and oceanic currents and how they influence bottom sediment dispersal and bathymetry evolution. This wave-current interaction effect is investigated using the Coupled Ocean–Atmosphere–Wave–Sediment Transport (COAWST) modeling system. COAWST relies on the Regional Ocean Modeling System (ROMS), the Simulating WAves Nearshore (SWAN) model, and the CSTMS (Community Sediment Transport Modeling System) models and routines. The 2-way data transfer between wave and ocean circulation models is synchronous via MCT (Model Coupling Toolkit), with ROMS providing to SWAN the 2-D current field, free surface elevation, and bathymetry. COAWST modeling system is implemented on two computational grids at different horizontal resolution: a parent grid (with resolution of 2.0 km) covering the whole Adriatic Sea and a child grid resolving the Gulf of Venice at a resolution of 0.5 km. Simulated waves and currents are validated against in-situ observations at the CNR-ISMAR Acqua Alta oceanographic tower, located 15 km off the Venice lagoon. The analysis of wave-current interaction effect on sediment dispersal and sea bottom evolution are performed over the 2011 winter season (January-March) with particular focus on the waves generated by dominant and prevailing winds blowing on the Adriatic Sea: Bora and Sirocco. Results show that while the effects on bottom stress may vary depending on wave propagation and current direction, the effects on advective dynamics may become dominant particularly in presence of severe storms with parallel wave propagation and global circulation, which is the case of Bora storms in northern Adriatic Sea.