Imperial College London


Faculty of EngineeringDepartment of Earth Science & Engineering

Professor of Computational Geoscience and Engineering



m.d.piggott Website




4.82Royal School of MinesSouth Kensington Campus





Publication Type

182 results found

Avalos Patino J, Dargaville S, Neethling S, Piggott Met al., 2021, Impact of inhomogeneous unsteady participating media in a coupled convection-radiation system using finite element based methods, International Journal of Heat and Mass Transfer, Vol: 176, Pages: 1-16, ISSN: 0017-9310

Combined convection–radiation is a common phenomenon in many engineering problems. A differentially–heated rectangular enclosure is a widely–used benchmark for testing numerical techniques developed for solving the coupled momentum and energy equations related to combined convection–radiation. Previous studies have tended to describe the phenomenon in cases using simplified characteristics for the participating media including the assumptions of: (i) uniform distribution, (ii) homogeneous cross section, (iii) grey gas radiation and (iv) under steady state conditions. The effects of an inhomogeneous unsteady participating media, e.g. composed of a mixture of gases, are arguably understudied. In this work the effect of an inhomogeneous unsteady participating media on combined convection–radiation inside a rectangular enclosure is considered, under both grey and non-grey gas modelling approaches involving a mixture of gases. A key novelty in this work is the inclusion of the ability to handle inhomogeneous participating media which change in space, time and absorption cross section values as a result of the convection–radiation coupling, allowing us to assess different gas modelling approaches. A global gas radiation model is used and a new non–uniform discretisation method for the absorption distribution function is introduced; this method allows a better handling of those energy groups in which the Planck absorption coefficient is low, improving the performance of the spherical harmonics method and mitigating ray–effects on finite elements in angle discretisation. The momentum and energy equations are solved numerically using finite element based discretisation methods. The radiative transfer equation is solved numerically using both spherical harmonics and finite elements for the angular discretisation, with their relative performance compared. The results highlight the importance that the characteristics of the partic

Journal article

Goss ZL, Coles DS, Kramer SC, Piggott MDet al., 2021, Efficient economic optimisation of large-scale tidal stream arrays, APPLIED ENERGY, Vol: 295, ISSN: 0306-2619

Journal article

Rasheed S, Warder SC, Plancherel Y, Piggott MDet al., 2021, An improved gridded bathymetric data set and tidal model for the Maldives Archipelago, Earth and Space Science, Vol: 8, Pages: 1-15, ISSN: 2333-5084

The Maldives faces a unique range of environmental challenges. While the country is almost entirely dependent upon oceanic resources with more than 99% of the area covered by ocean, the absence of a suitable bathymetric map of the seafloor of the Maldives severely limits the adoption and application of modern scientific methods for the prediction of both physical and biological oceanic processes across the country. Here, we present a new bathymetric data set for the country based upon accumulating data from various sources and demonstrate that the synthesis of these provides a far more accurate representation of the shallow water areas of the region than currently available products. We also show that the new bathymetric data set is of sufficiently high resolution to model tidal flows across the archipelago for the first time. The new bathymetric data set provides numerous opportunities to better understand oceanic flow, associated physical and biogeochemical processes, and their correlation to one another across the Maldives archipelago.

Journal article

Kadiri M, Zhang H, Angeloudis A, Piggott MDet al., 2021, Evaluating the eutrophication risk of an artificial tidal lagoon, OCEAN & COASTAL MANAGEMENT, Vol: 203, ISSN: 0964-5691

Journal article

Warder SC, Horsburgh KJ, Piggott MD, 2021, Adjoint-based sensitivity analysis for a numerical storm surge model, Ocean Modelling, Vol: 160, Pages: 1-13, ISSN: 1463-5003

Numerical storm surge models are essential to forecasting coastal flood hazard and informing the design of coastal defences. However, such models rely on a variety of inputs, many of which carry uncertainty. An awareness and understanding of the sensitivity of model outputs with respect to those uncertain inputs is therefore essential when interpreting model results. Here, we use an unstructured-mesh numerical coastal ocean model, Thetis, and its adjoint, to perform a sensitivity analysis for a hindcast of the 5th/6th December 2013 North Sea surge event, with respect to the bottom friction coefficient, bathymetry and wind stress forcing. The results reveal spatial and temporal patterns of sensitivity, providing physical insight into the mechanisms of surge generation and propagation. For example, the sensitivity of the skew surge to the bathymetry reveals the protective effect of a sand bank off the UK east coast. The results can also be used to propagate uncertainties through the numerical model; based on estimates of model input uncertainties, we estimate that modelled skew surges carry uncertainties of around 5 cm and 15 cm due to bathymetry and bottom friction, respectively. While these uncertainties are small compared with the typical spread in an ensemble storm surge forecast due to uncertain meteorological inputs, the adjoint-derived model sensitivities can nevertheless be used to inform future model calibration and data acquisition efforts in order to reduce uncertainty. Our results demonstrate the power of adjoint methods to gain insight into a storm surge model, providing information complementary to traditional ensemble uncertainty quantification methods.

Journal article

Mackie L, Evans PS, Harrold MJ, ODoherty T, Piggott MD, Angeloudis Aet al., 2021, Modelling an energetic tidal strait: investigating implications of common numerical configuration choices, Applied Ocean Research, Vol: 108, Pages: 1-15, ISSN: 0141-1187

Representation of the marine environment is key for reliable coastal hydrodynamic models. This study investigates the implications of common depth-averaged model configuration choices in sufficiently characterising seabed geometry and roughness. In particular, applications requiring a high level of accuracy and/or exhibiting complex flow conditions may call for greater detail in marine environment representation than typically adopted in coastal models. Ramsey Sound, a macrotidal strait in Pembrokeshire, Wales, UK is considered as a case study. The site contains various steeply inclined bathymetric features, including a submerged pinnacle named Horse Rock and a rocky reef called “The Bitches”. The available energy in Ramsey Sound’s tidal currents has attracted attention from tidal energy developers. There is interest in accurately modelling the energetic hydrodynamics surrounding its pronounced bathymetry. The coastal flow solver Thetis is applied to simulate the flow conditions in Ramsey Sound. It is shown that notable prominent bathymetric features in the strait influence localised and, most importantly, regional hydrodynamic characteristics. “The Bitches” consistently accelerate flow in the strait while Horse Rock induces a notable wake structure and flow reversals. The model is calibrated against bed- and vessel-mounted Acoustic Doppler Current Profiler (ADCP) observations, by altering seabed roughness parameterisations. A spatially variable and locally scaled Manning coefficient based on diverse seabed classification observations is found to improve model performance in comparison to uniformly applied constants, the latter a more common approach. The local impact of altering the Manning coefficient configuration is found to be greatest during spring flood periods of high velocity currents. Meanwhile, the effect of coarsening the computational mesh around bathymetric features towards values more typically applied in coastal models i

Journal article

Rasheed S, Warder SC, Plancherel Y, Piggott MDet al., 2021, Response of tidal flow regime and sediment transport in North Male' Atoll, Maldives to coastal modification and sea level rise, Ocean Science, Vol: 17, Pages: 319-334, ISSN: 1812-0784

Changes to coastlines and bathymetry alter tidal dynamics and associated sediment transport processes, impacting upon a number of threats facing coastal regions, including flood risk and erosion. Especially vulnerable are coral atolls such as those that make up the Maldives archipelago, which has undergone significant land reclamation in recent years and decades and is also particularly exposed to sea level rise. Here we develop a tidal model of Malé Atoll, Maldives, the first atoll-scale and multi-atoll-scale high-resolution numerical model of the atolls of the Maldives and use it to assess potential changes to sediment grain size distributions in the deeper atoll basin, under sea level rise and coastline alteration scenarios. The results indicate that the impact of coastline modification over the last two decades at the island scale is not limited to the immediate vicinity of the modified island but can also significantly impact the sediment grain size distribution across the wider atoll basin. Additionally, the degree of change in sediment distribution which can be associated with sea level rise that is projected to occur over relatively long time periods is predicted to occur over far shorter time periods with coastline changes, highlighting the need to better understand, predict and mitigate the impact of land reclamation and other coastal modifications before conducting such activities.

Journal article

Pan W, Kramer SC, Piggott MD, 2021, A sigma-coordinate non-hydrostatic discontinuous finite element coastal ocean model, Ocean Modelling, Vol: 157, Pages: 1-21, ISSN: 1463-5003

A𝜎-coordinate non-hydrostatic coastal ocean model is developed using the discontinuous Galerkin fi-nite element method. With the selection of the low-order piecewise-constant PDG0and piecewise-linearPDG1discretisations in the vertical for the velocity and pressure fields, respectively, the proposed𝜎-coordinatemodel can naturally retain the wave dispersion characteristics of the widely-adopted multi-layer approach ofZijlema and Stelling (2005), which is demonstrated through both mathematical derivation and numerical tests.Under the finite element approach, higher-order vertical discretisation choices can also be readily made whichcan reduce the number of vertical layers required for the accurate representation of wave dispersion. Themodel is verified and validated through comparisons against a series of test cases with analytical solutions orexperimental measurements. All the comparisons demonstrate good agreement, indicating that the proposedmodel can accurately represent dispersive barotropic surface waves with as few as one vertical layer, and cansimulate baroclinic internal waves with reasonable accuracy using relatively coarse mesh resolution. It is alsodemonstrated that consistency in the coupling of barotropic and baroclinic flows can be properly ensured.

Journal article

Clare MCA, Percival JR, Angeloudis A, Cotter CJ, Piggott MDet al., 2021, Hydro-morphodynamics 2D modelling using a discontinuous Galerkin discretisation, Computers and Geosciences, Vol: 146, Pages: 1-13, ISSN: 0098-3004

The development of morphodynamic models to simulate sediment transport accurately is a challenging process that is becoming ever more important because of our increasing exploitation of the coastal zone, as well as sea-level rise and the potential increase in strength and frequency of storms due to a changing climate. Morphodynamic models are highly complex given the non-linear and coupled nature of the sediment transport problem. Here we implement a new depth-averaged coupled hydrodynamic and sediment transport model within the coastal ocean model Thetis, built using the code generating framework Firedrake which facilitates code flexibility and optimisation benefits. To the best of our knowledge, this represents the first full morphodynamic model including both bedload and suspended sediment transport which uses a discontinuous Galerkin based finite element discretisation. We implement new functionalities within Thetis extending its existing capacity to model scalar transport to modelling suspended sediment transport, incorporating within Thetis options to model bedload transport and bedlevel changes. We apply our model to problems with non-cohesive sediment and account for effects of gravity and helical flow by adding slope gradient terms and parametrising secondary currents. For validation purposes and in demonstrating model capability, we present results from test cases of a migrating trench and a meandering channel comparing against experimental data and the widely-used model Telemac-Mascaret.

Journal article

Zhang M, Piggott MD, 2020, Unsupervised learning of particle image velocimetry, ISC High Performance 2020, Publisher: Springer International Publishing, Pages: 102-115, ISSN: 0302-9743

Particle Image Velocimetry (PIV) is a classical flow estimation problem which is widely considered and utilised, especially as a diagnostic tool in experimental fluid dynamics and the remote sensing of environmental flows. Recently, the development of deep learning based methods has inspired new approaches to tackle the PIV problem. These supervised learning based methods are driven by large volumes of data with ground truth training information. However, it is difficult to collect reliable ground truth data in large-scale, real-world scenarios. Although synthetic datasets can be used as alternatives, the gap between the training set-ups and real-world scenarios limits applicability. We present here what we believe to be the first work which takes an unsupervised learning based approach to tackle PIV problems. The proposed approach is inspired by classic optical flow methods. Instead of using ground truth data, we make use of photometric loss between two consecutive image frames, consistency loss in bidirectional flow estimates and spatial smoothness loss to construct the total unsupervised loss function. The approach shows significant potential and advantages for fluid flow estimation. Results presented here demonstrate that our method outputs competitive results compared with classical PIV methods as well as supervised learning based methods for a broad PIV dataset, and even outperforms these existing approaches in some difficult flow cases. Codes and trained models are available at

Conference paper

Mackie L, Coles D, Piggott M, Angeloudis Aet al., 2020, The potential for tidal range energy systems to provide continuous power: a UK case study, Journal of Marine Science and Engineering, Vol: 8, Pages: 1-23, ISSN: 2077-1312

The extraction of tidal energy from head differences represents a predictable and flexible option for generating electricity. Here, we investigate the generation potential of prospective tidal power plants in the UK. Originally conceived as separate projects, operating these schemes as a cooperative system could prove beneficial. Combined with the inherent operational flexibility of tidal range-based schemes, a notable tidal phase difference in selected sites allows for the system to spread power generation over a larger proportion of the day. Using depth-averaged modelling and gradient-based optimisation techniques, we explore how a flexible cumulative operation schedule could be applied to provide a degree of continuous supply if desirable. While fully continuous operation is not achieved, a number of different optimisation schedules deliver cumulative continuous supply for over half of the year. The average minimum cumulative power output on these days is consistently over 500 MW out of a total installed capacity of 6195.3 MW. Furthermore, by introducing financial incentives associated with reliable, baseload supply, we provide an economic assessment of the tidal power plant system. The daily minimum cumulative power output determines income in the modelled idealised baseload market, while excess supply is traded in an hourly variable wholesale energy market. Results indicate that subsidies would be required in order to make a pursuit of continuous generation financially advantageous over energy maximisation strategies.

Journal article

Smith RC, Hill J, Mouradian SL, Piggott MD, Collins GSet al., 2020, A new methodology for performing large scale simulations of tsunami generated by deformable submarine slides, Ocean Modelling, Vol: 153, Pages: 1-56, ISSN: 1463-5003

Large tsunamis can be generated by submarine slides, but these events are rare on human timescales and challenging to observe. Experiments and numerical modelling offer methods to understand the mechanisms by which they generate waves and what the potential hazard might be. However, to fully capture the complex waveform generated by a submarine slide, the slide dynamics must also be accurately modelled. It is computationally difficult to model both a three-dimensional submarine slide whilst simultaneously simulating oceanic-scale tsunamis. Past studies have either coupled localised models of the slide generation to oceanic-scale tsunami simulations or simplified the slide dynamics. Here, we present a new methodology of model coupling that generates the wave in the ocean-scale model via boundary-condition coupling of a two-dimensional dynamic slide simulation. We verify our coupling methodology by comparing model results to a previous simulation of a tsunamigenic slide in the Gulf of Mexico. We then examine the effect of slide deformation on the risk posed by hypothetical submarine slides around the UK. We show the deformable submarine slide simulations produce larger waves than the solid slide simulations due to the details of acceleration and velocity of the slide, although lateral spreading is not modelled. This work offers a new methodology for simulating oceanic-scale tsunamis caused by submarine slides using the output of a two–dimensional, multi-material simulation as input into a three–dimensional ocean model. This facilitates future exploration of the tsunami risk posed by tsunamigenic submarine slides that affect coastlines not normally prone to tsunamis.

Journal article

Goss ZL, Coles DS, Piggott MD, 2020, Identifying economically viable tidal sites within the Alderney Race through optimization of levelized cost of energy, Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society A: Mathematical, Physical and Engineering Sciences, Vol: 378, Pages: 1-20, ISSN: 1364-503X

Costs of tidal stream energy generation are anticipated to fall considerably with array expansion and time. This is due to both economies of volume, where arrays comprising of large numbers of turbines can split fixed costs over a greater number of devices, and learning rates, where the industry matures and so arrays of the same size become cheaper due to lessons learned from previous installations. This paper investigates how tidal energy arrays can be designed to minimize the levelized cost of energy (LCOE), by optimizing not only the location but also the number of devices, to find a suitable balance between decreased costs due to economies of volume and diminishing returns due to global blockage effects. It focuses on the Alderney Race as a case study site due to the high velocities found there, making it a highly suitable site for large-scale arrays. It is demonstrated that between 1 and 2 GW could be feasibly extracted as costs in the tidal industry fall, with the LCOE depending greatly on the assumed costs. A Monte–Carlo analysis is undertaken to account for variability in capital and operational cost data used as inputs to the array optimization. Once optimized, the estimated P50 LCOE of an 80 MW array is £110/MWh. This estimate aligns closely with the level of subsidy considered for tidal stream projects in the Alderney Race in the past.

Journal article

Kramer S, Wilson C, Davies R, Funke SW, Greaves T, Avdis A, Lange M, Candy A, Cotter CJ, Pain C, Percival J, Mouradian S, Bhutani G, Gorman G, Gibson A, Duvernay T, Guo X, Maddison JR, Rathgeber F, Farrell P, Weiland M, Robinson D, Ham DA, Goffin M, Piggott M, Gomes J, Dargaville S, Everett A, Jacobs CT, Cavendish ABet al., 2020, FluidityProject/fluidity: New test cases "Analytical solutions for mantle flow in cylindrical and spherical shells"

This release adds new test cases described in the GMD paper "Analytical solutions for mantle flow in cylindrical and spherical shells"


Baker AL, Craighead RM, Jarvis EJ, Stenton HC, Angeloudis A, Mackie L, Avdis A, Piggott MD, Hill Jet al., 2020, Modelling the impact of tidal energy on species communities, Ocean and Coastal Management, Vol: 193, ISSN: 0964-5691

Tidal energy has the potential to form a key component of the energy production in a number of countries, including the UK. Nonetheless, the deployment of tidal energy systems is associated with potential environmental impacts as prime resource sites often coincide with unique ecosystems inhabited by sensitive organisms. Previous studies have generally focused on the hydrodynamic impact of tidal energy schemes, i.e. how schemes alter the flow dynamics and sedimentary transport processes. Whilst these efforts are key in understanding environmental impacts, there is no straightforward step for translating sediment to faunal changes. Species distribution models offer methods to quantitatively predict certain possible impacts of tidal energy extraction. The River Severn is a distinguished candidate region for tidal energy in the UK featuring sites under stringent ecological protection regulations. We examine the impact of a proposed Severn tidal barrage on 14 species via the linking of hydrodynamic modelling to species distribution models. Through a selection of species that are linked via a simple food web system we extrapolate changes in prey species to the respective predator species. We show that species at lower trophic levels would be adversely affected by the barrage, but higher trophic level organisms increase in possible habitable area. Once food web relationships are acknowledged this increase in habitat area decreases, but is still net positive. Overall, all 14 species were affected, with most gaining in distribution area, and only four losing distribution area within the Severn Estuary. We conclude that a large-scale tidal barrage may have detrimental and complex impacts on species distribution, altering food web dynamics and altering food availability in the Severn Estuary. The methodology outlined herein can be transferred to the assessment and optimisation of prospective projects globally to aide in the sustainable introduction of the technology.

Journal article

Angeloudis A, Kramer SC, Hawkins N, Piggott MDet al., 2020, On the potential of linked-basin tidal power plants: An operational and coastal modelling assessment, Renewable Energy, Vol: 155, Pages: 876-888, ISSN: 0960-1481

Single-basin tidal range power plants have the advantage of predictable energy outputs, but feature non-generation periods in every tidal cycle. Linked-basin tidal power systems can reduce this variability and consistently generate power. However, as a concept the latter are under-studied with limited information on their performance relative to single-basin designs. In addressing this, we outline the basic principles of linked-basin power plant operation and report results from their numerical simulation. Tidal range energy operational models are applied to gauge their capabilities relative to conventional, single-basin tidal power plants. A coastal ocean model (Thetis) is then refined with linked-basin modelling capabilities. Simulations demonstrate that linked-basin systems can reduce non-generation periods at the expense of the extractable energy output relative to conventional tidal lagoons and barrages. As an example, a hypothetical case is considered for a site in the Severn Estuary, UK. The linked-basin system is seen to generate energy 80–100% of the time over a spring-neap cycle, but harnesses at best 30% of the energy of an equivalent-area single-basin design.

Journal article

Pan W, Kramer S, Kärnä T, Piggott Met al., 2020, Comparing non-hydrostatic extensions to a discontinuous finite element coastal ocean model, Ocean Modelling, Vol: 151, ISSN: 1463-5003

The unstructured mesh, discontinuous Galerkin finite element discretisation based coastal ocean model, Thetis, has been extended to include non-hydrostatic (buoyancy-driven and free surface) dynamics. Two alternative approaches to achieve this are described in this work. The first (a 3D based algorithm) makes use of prismatic element based meshes and uses a split-step pressure projection method for baroclinic and barotropic modes, while the second (a 2D based algorithm) adopts a novel multi-layer approach to convert a 3D problem into a combination of multiple 2D computations with only 2D triangle meshes required. Model development is carried out at high-level with the Firedrake library, using code generation techniques to automatically produce low-level code for the discretised model equations in an efficient and rapid manner. Through comparisons against several barotropic/baroclinic test cases where non hydrostatic effects are important, the implemented approaches are verified and validated, and the proposed algorithms compared. Depending on whether the problems are dominated by dispersive, baroclinic or barotropic features, recommendation are given over the use of full 3D or multi-layer 2D based approaches to achieve optimal computational accuracy and efficiency. It is demonstrated that while in general the 2D approach is well-suited for barotropic problems and dispersive free surface waves, the 3D approach is more advantageous for simulating baroclinic buoyancy-driven flows due in part to the high vertical resolution typically required to represent the active tracer fields. Keywords: Discontinuous Galerkin, Finite element, Unstructured mesh, Baroclinic flow, Non-hydrostatic, Dispersion, Free surface

Journal article

Wallwork JG, Barral N, Kramer SC, Ham DA, Piggott MDet al., 2020, Goal-oriented error estimation and mesh adaptation for shallow water modelling, SN Applied Sciences, Vol: 2, Pages: 1-11, ISSN: 2523-3971

This study presents a novel goal-oriented error estimate for the nonlinear shallow water equations solved using a mixed discontinuous/continuous Galerkin approach. This error estimator takes account of the discontinuities in the discrete solution and is used to drive two metric-based mesh adaptation algorithms: one which yields isotropic meshes and another which yields anisotropic meshes. An implementation of these goal-oriented mesh adaptation algorithms is described, including a method for approximating the adjoint error term which arises in the error estimate. Results are presented for simulations of two model tidal farm configurations computed using the Thetis coastal ocean model (Kärnä et al. in Geosci Model Dev 11(11):4359–4382, 2018). Convergence analysis indicates that meshes resulting from the goal-oriented adaptation strategies permit accurate QoI estimation using fewer computational resources than uniform refinement.

Journal article

Snelling B, Neethling S, Horsburgh K, Collins G, Piggott Met al., 2020, Uncertainty quantification of landslide generated waves using Gaussian process emulation and variance-based sensitivity analysis, Water, Vol: 12, ISSN: 2073-4441

Simulations of landslide generated waves (LGWs) are prone to high levels of uncertainty. Here we present a probabilistic sensitivity analysis of an LGW model. The LGW model was realised through a smooth particle hydrodynamics (SPH) simulator, which is capable of modelling fluids with complex rheologies and includes flexible boundary conditions. This LGW model has parameters defining the landslide, including its rheology, that contribute to uncertainty in the simulated wave characteristics. Given the computational expense of this simulator, we made use of the extensive uncertainty quantification functionality of the Dakota toolkit to train a Gaussian process emulator (GPE) using a dataset derived from SPH simulations. Using the emulator we conducted a variance-based decomposition to quantify how much each input parameter to the SPH simulation contributed to the uncertainty in the simulated wave characteristics. Our results indicate that the landslide’s volume and initial submergence depth contribute the most to uncertainty in the wave characteristics, while the landslide rheological parameters have a much smaller influence. When estimated run-up is used as the indicator for LGW hazard, the slope angle of the shore being inundated is shown to be an additional influential parameter. This study facilitates probabilistic hazard analysis of LGWs, because it reveals which source characteristics contribute most to uncertainty in terms of how hazardous a wave will be, thereby allowing computational resources to be focused on better understanding that uncertainty.

Journal article

Snelling BE, Collins GS, Piggott MD, Neethling SJet al., 2020, Improvements to a smooth particle hydrodynamics simulator for investigating submarine landslide generated waves, International Journal for Numerical Methods in Fluids, Vol: 92, Pages: 744-764, ISSN: 0271-2091

Submarine landslides can exhibit complex rheologies, including a finite yield stress and shear thinning, yet are often simulated numerically using a Newtonian fluid rheology and simplistic boundary conditions. Here we present improvements made to a Smoothed Particle Hydrodynamics simulator to allow the accurate simulation of submarine landslide generated waves. The improvements include the addition of Bingham and Herschel‐Bulkley rheologies, which better simulate the behavior of submarine mudflows. The interaction between the base of the slide and the slope is represented more accurately through the use of a viscous stress boundary condition. This condition treats the interface between the seafloor and the slide as a fluid boundary layer with a user‐defined viscosity and length scale. Modifications to the pressure and density calculations are described that improve their stability for landslide generated wave scenarios. An option for pressure decomposition is introduced to prevent particle locking under high pressure. This facilitates the application of this simulator to landslide scenarios beneath significant water depths. Additional modifications to the reaveraging and renormalization routines improve the stability of the free surface and fluid density. We present the mathematical formulations of these improvements alongside commentary on their performance and applicability to landslide generated wave modeling. The modifications are verified against analytical fluid flow solutions and a wave generation experiment.

Journal article

Du Feu R, funke S, Kramer S, hill J, Piggott Met al., 2019, The trade-off between tidal-turbine array yield and environmental impact: A habitat suitability modelling approach, Renewable Energy, Vol: 143, Pages: 390-403, ISSN: 1879-0682

In the drive towards a carbon-free society, tidal energy has the potential to become a valuable part of the UK energy supply. Developments are subject to intense scrutiny, and potential environmental impacts must be assessed. Unfortunately many of these impacts are still poorly understood, including the implications that come with altering the hydrodynamics. Here, methods are proposed to quantify ecological impact and to incorporate its minimisation into the array design process. Four tidal developments in the Pentland Firth are modelled with the array optimisation tool OpenTidalFarm, that designs arrays to generate the maximum possible profit. Maximum entropy modelling is used to create habitat suitability maps for species that respond to changes in bedshear stress. Changes in habitat suitability caused by an altered tidal regime are assessed. OpenTidalFarm is adapted to simultaneously optimise array design to maximise both this habitat suitability and to maximise the profit of the array. The problem is thus posed as a multi-objective optimisation problem, and a set of Pareto solutions found, allowing trade-offs between these two objectives to be identified. The methods proposed generate array designs that have reduced negative impact, or even positive impact, on the habitat suitability of specific species or habitats of interest.

Journal article

Goss Z, Warder S, Angeloudis A, Kramer S, Avdis A, Piggott Met al., 2019, Tidal modelling with Thetis: preliminary English Channel benchmarking, Tidal modelling with Thetis: preliminary English Channelbenchmarking

This report describes the application and benchmarking of the Thetis coastal ocean model fortidal modelling, and makes use of a test case based upon the English Channel. Comparisonsare made between model predictions and tide gauge data at a number of locations across theEnglish Channel. A preliminary investigation of the impact of mesh resolution and bathymetrydata is given. A demonstration is also provided of Thetis’s ability to use adjoint technologyto optimise model predictions through the assimilation of observational data. In the examplepresented here the bottom friction field is optimised to provide an improved match betweenthe model results and tide gauge data. This adjoint based optimisation capability may alsobe used to optimise the location, size and design of tidal power generation schemes.


Deskos G, Laizet S, Piggott M, 2019, Turbulence-resolving simulations of wind turbine wakes, Renewable Energy, Vol: 134, Pages: 989-1002, ISSN: 1879-0682

Turbulence-resolving simulations of wind turbine wakes are presented using a high-order flow solver combined with both a standard and a novel dynamic implicit spectral vanishing viscosity (iSVV and dynamic iSVV) model to account for subgrid-scale (SGS) stresses. The numerical solutions are compared against wind tunnel measurements, which include mean velocity and turbulent intensity profiles, as well as integral rotor quantities such as power and thrust coefficients. For the standard (also termed static) case the magnitude of the spectral vanishing viscosity is selected via a heuristic analysis of the wake statistics, while in the case of the dynamic model the magnitude is adjusted both in space and time at each time step. The study focuses on examining the ability of the two approaches, standard (static) and dynamic, to accurately capture the wake features, both qualitatively and quantitatively. The results suggest that the static method can become over-dissipative when the magnitude of the spectral viscosity is increased, while the dynamic approach which adjusts the magnitude of dissipation locally is shown to be more appropriate for a non-homogeneous flow such that of a wind turbine wake.

Journal article

Vouriot C, Angeloudis A, Kramer S, Piggott Met al., 2019, Fate of large-scale vortices in idealized tidal lagoons, Environmental Fluid Mechanics, Vol: 19, Pages: 329-348, ISSN: 1567-7419

The generation and evolution of tidally-induced vortices in coastal and estuarine regions can influence water quality and sedimentary processes. These effects must be taken into consideration in the development of coastal reservoirs, barrages and lagoons, among other environmental flow applications. Results are presented here on the fate of large-scale vortices within confined tidally-forced domains. A computational approach is employed using the Thetis depth-averaged coastal ocean modeling framework. Initially, two test cases serve to demonstrate model capability in capturing the formation of dipoles downstream of oscillatory flow channels. Diagnostic quantities of vorticity and localized circulation are used to track the 2-D vortex evolution and dissipation. This approach is then applied to tidal lagoon geometries, where flows through the inlet induce a pair of counter rotating vortices (dipoles). Idealized model geometries and inlet conditions are used to determine the impact of three design parameters on large-scale vortical structures: (a) the lagoon geometry aspect ratio in the horizontal plane, (b) the inlet width and (c) the bathymetry profile as the coastline is approached. The dependence of vortex flushing behavior on the dimensionless ratio Wi/UT (where Wi is the width of the inlet channel, U is the maximum velocity and T is the tidal period) is reaffirmed, while the side walls and the sloping bathymetry are found to affect the vortex dissipation process.

Journal article

Harcourt F, Angeloudis A, Piggott M, 2019, Utilising the flexible generation potential of tidal range power plants to optimise economic value, Applied Energy, Vol: 237, Pages: 873-884, ISSN: 0306-2619

Tidal range renewable power plants have the capacity to deliver predictableenergy to the electricity grid, subject to the known variability of the tides.Tidal power plants inherently feature advantages that characterise hydro-powermore generally, including a lifetime exceeding alternative renewable energy technologies and relatively low Operation & Maintenance costs. Nevertheless, thetechnology is typically inhibited by the significant upfront investment associatedwith capital costs. A key aspect that makes the technology stand out relativeto other renewable options is the partial flexibility it possesses over the timingof power generation. In this study we provide details on a design methodologytargeted at the optimisation of the temporal operation of a tidal range energystructure, specifically the Swansea Bay tidal lagoon that has been proposedwithin the Bristol Channel, UK. Apart from concentrating on the classical incentive of maximising energy, we formulate an objective functional in a mannerthat promotes the maximisation of income for the scheme from the Day-Aheadenergy market. Simulation results demonstrate that there are opportunities toexploit the predictability of the tides and flexibility over the precise timing ofpower generation to incur a noticeable reduction in the subsidy costs that are often negotiated with regulators and governments. Additionally, we suggest thatthis approach should enable tidal range energy to play a more active role inensuring security of supply in the UK. This is accentuated by the income-basedoptimisation controls that deliver on average more power over periods whendemand is higher. For the Swansea Bay tidal lagoon case study a 23% increaseis observed in the income obtained following the optimisation of its operationcompared to a non-adaptive operation. Similarly, a 10% increase relative toan energy-maximisation approach over a year’s operation suggests that simplymaximising energy generation in a setting where power

Journal article

Pan W, Kramer S, Piggott M, 2019, Multi-layer non-hydrostatic free surface modelling using the discontinuous Galerkin method, Ocean Modelling, Vol: 134, Pages: 68-83, ISSN: 1463-5003

A multi-layer non-hydrostatic version of the unstructured mesh, discontinuous Galerkinfinite element based coastal ocean model, Thetis, is developed. This is accomplishedusing the PDE solver framework, Firedrake, which is used to automatically produce thecode for the discretised model equations in a rapid and efficient manner. The motivationfor this work is a need to accurately simulate dispersive nearshore free surface processes.In order to resolve both frequency dispersion and non-linear effects accurately, additional non-hydrostatic terms are included in the layer-integrated hydrostatic equations,producing a form similar to the layered non-linear shallow water equations, but withextra vertical velocities at the layer interfaces. An implementation process is adoptedto easily handle the inter-layer connection, i.e. the governing equations are transformedinto a depth-integrated system through the introduction of depth-averaged variables.The model is verified and validated through comparisons against several idealisedand experimentally-based test cases. All the comparisons demonstrate good agreement,showing that the developed non-hydrostatic model has excellent capabilities in representing coastal wave phenomena including shoaling, refraction and diffraction of dispersive short waves, as well as propagation, run-up and inundation of non-linear tsunamiwaves.

Journal article

Deskos G, Piggott MD, Laizet S, 2019, Development and validation of the higher-order finite-difference wind farm simulator, winc3d, Pages: 721-728

High-fidelity wind farm models typically employ Large–Eddy Simulation (LES) formulations and turbine parametrisations (e.g. actuator disc models) to resolve the turbine wakes at spatial and temporal scales so that all flow features of engineering importance are well–captured. Such features include the low frequency dynamic wake meandering, which plays a key role in the fatigue loading expe-rienced by downstream turbines clustered in arrays. By the term ‘Wind Farm Simulator’ (WFS) we refer to an integrated framework which offers these capabilities and can be used as a research tool to study wake–to–wake and turbine–to–wake interactions. In this work, we present a validation study for WInc3D, a WFS based on the powerful, sixth-order finite-difference flow solver, incompact3d. For our validation study, we use operational scenarios from the Horns Rev offshore wind farm. The comparison of the present model with existing Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition (SCADA) measurements and previous LES studies shows an overall good agreement.

Conference paper

Goss ZL, Piggott MD, Kramer SC, Avdis A, Angeloudis A, Cotter CJet al., 2019, Competition effects between nearby tidal turbine arrays—optimal design for alderney race, Pages: 255-262

Tidal renewable energy can be described as a fledgling industry, with the world’s pilot tidal stream turbine array only recently installed. Full-sized arrays will be developed if they prove their economic, engineering and environmental viability. Reliable numerical tools are needed to optimise power yields in arrays of potentially hundreds of turbines and assess viability of new sites and designs. To demonstrate our capability to optimise the number of turbines and their spatial distribution in a region, we focus on a test case based upon the Alderney Race. The site contains the majority of the Channel Islands resource with plans from both France and Alderney to develop adjacent arrays that could impact on each other. We present a shallow-water model of the English Channel using the Thetis ocean model. Together with the hydrodynamics modelling we employ adjoint technology to optimise the micrositing of turbines for a set of scenarios.

Conference paper

Angeloudis A, Hawkins N, Kramer SC, Piggott MDet al., 2019, Comparison of twin-basin lagoon systems against conventional tidal power plant designs, Pages: 159-168

Tidal power plant proposals present opportunities to deliver sustainable energy to the national grid in the UK and beyond. Multiple designs have been considered over the years that seek to competitively balance economic, environmental and technical challenges. Tidal range power plants have the advantage of reliable and predictable energy outputs with a certain degree of flexibility but typically feature non-generation periods in every tidal cycle. Twin-basin systems present an alternative that can significantly reduce this variability but very little information has been reported in terms of their performance to-date. In this work a coastal ocean modelling framework has been coupled with twin-basin and tidal power plant operation algorithms and is applied to compare tidal energy options. Results suggest that through use of a twin basin system the non-generation time can be substantially reduced at a notable expense to the overall energy output relative to conventional tidal lagoons and barrages.

Conference paper

Nunez Rattia JM, Percival J, Neethling S, Piggott MDet al., 2018, Modelling local scour near structures with combined mesh movement and mesh optimisation, Journal of Computational Physics, Vol: 375, Pages: 1220-1237, ISSN: 0021-9991

This paper develops a new implementation coupling optimisation-based anisotropic mesh adaptivity algorithms to a moving mesh numerical scour model, considering both turbulent suspended and bedload sediment transport. The significant flexibility over mesh structure and resolution, in space and time, that the coupling of these approaches provides makes this framework highly suitable for resolving individual marine structure scales with larger scale ocean dynamics. The use of mesh optimisation addresses the issue of poor mesh quality and/or inappropriate resolution that have compromised existing modelling approaches that apply mesh movement strategies alone, especially in the case of extreme scour. Discontinuous Galerkin finite element-based discretisation methods and a Reynolds Averaged Navier–Stokes-based turbulent modelling approach are used for the hydrodynamic fluid flow. In this work the model is verified in two dimensions for current-dominated scour near a horizontal pipeline. Combined adaptive mesh movement and anisotropic mesh optimisation is found to maintain both the quality and validity of the mesh in response to morphological bed evolution changes, even in the case where it is severely constrained by nearby structures.

Journal article

This data is extracted from the Web of Science and reproduced under a licence from Thomson Reuters. You may not copy or re-distribute this data in whole or in part without the written consent of the Science business of Thomson Reuters.

Request URL: Request URI: /respub/WEB-INF/jsp/search-html.jsp Query String: respub-action=search.html&id=00340769&limit=30&person=true