Operational oceanographic platform in Thermaikos Gulf (Greece): forecasting and emergency alert system for public use

Yannis Androulidakis, Yannis Krestenitis, Christos Makris, Vassilis Baltikas, Katerina Kombiadou, Giolanta Kalantzi, Charalambos Skoulikaris

Thursday 2 july 2015

8:30 - 8:45h at Oceania Foyer (level 0)

Themes: (T) Flood risk management and adaptation, (ST) Early warning systems

Parallel session: 10L. Floodrisk - Early warning systems

Sea state (wave, circulation, storm surge) modelling and forecasting in Greece are notions well understood, investigated and implemented, but only within the scientific community and mainly for research purposes. When it comes to practical implementations, there is poor distribution of the available information to everyday Greek users. The availability of high-resolution, gridded sea state prognoses is very low, especially for the Thermaikos Gulf (NW Aegean Sea), which is an area of high environmental significance and where a broad spectrum of sea-based activities (tourism, aquacultures, marine transportations, sea-related recreational and nautathletic activities etc) takes place. Under this reasoning, a state-of-the-art forecasting system (WaveForUs: Wave climate and coastal circulation Forecasts for public Use) is implemented, delivering 3-day forecasts of spectral wave characteristics, hydrodynamic circulation and storm surges for the Thermaikos Gulf; the forecasts will be disseminated to the public via television broadcasts and internet applications. The WaveForUs platform is fully functional and aspires to provide users with an invaluable tool for their sea-based activities in Greece. The present paper focuses on presenting the calibration/validation of the sea-state models of the system. The validation and calibration of the models was based on hindcasting simulations. The numerical results are satisfactory and correlate well with in-situ and satellite/modelling data. The forecasting products are also planned to be incorporated in other European operational oceanography platforms. Taking into account the particularities and importance of the domain of application, the products of the forecasting platform may, on one hand, be interesting for various groups of everyday end-users and, on the other hand, be exploitable by other research applications and projects, e.g. on environmental modelling and coastal zone management.