Imperial College London

ProfessorMatthewPiggott

Faculty of EngineeringDepartment of Earth Science & Engineering

Professor of Computational Geoscience and Engineering
 
 
 
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Contact

 

m.d.piggott Website

 
 
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Location

 

4.82Royal School of MinesSouth Kensington Campus

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Summary

 

Publications

Publication Type
Year
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209 results found

Clare MCA, Wallwork JG, Kramer SC, Weller H, Cotter CJ, Piggott MDet al., 2022, Multi-scale hydro-morphodynamic modelling using mesh movement methods, GEM: International Journal on Geomathematics, Vol: 13, ISSN: 1869-2672

Hydro-morphodynamic modelling is an important tool that can be used in the protection of coastal zones. The models can be required to resolve spatial scales ranging from sub-metre to hundreds of kilometres and are computationally expensive. In this work, we apply mesh movement methods to a depth-averaged hydro-morphodynamic model for the first time, in order to tackle both these issues. Mesh movement methods are particularly well-suited to coastal problems as they allow the mesh to move in response to evolving flow and morphology structures. This new capability is demonstrated using test cases that exhibit complex evolving bathymetries and have moving wet-dry interfaces. In order to be able to simulate sediment transport in wet-dry domains, a new conservative discretisation approach has been developed as part of this work, as well as a sediment slide mechanism. For all test cases, we demonstrate how mesh movement methods can be used to reduce discretisation error and computational cost. We also show that the optimum parameter choices in the mesh movement monitor functions are fairly predictable based upon the physical characteristics of the test case, facilitating the use of mesh movement methods on further problems.

Journal article

Warder SC, Piggott MD, 2022, Optimal experiment design for a bottom friction parameter estimation problem, GEM-INTERNATIONAL JOURNAL ON GEOMATHEMATICS, Vol: 13, ISSN: 1869-2672

Journal article

Shadrick J, Rood D, Hurst M, Piggott M, Hebditch B, Seal A, Wilcken Ket al., 2022, Sea level rise will likely accelerate rock coast cliff retreat rates, Nature Communications, ISSN: 2041-1723

Journal article

Halilovic S, Böttcher F, Kramer S, Piggott M, Zosseder K, Hamacher Tet al., 2022, Well layout optimization for groundwater heat pump systems using the adjoint approach, Energy Conversion and Management, Vol: 268, ISSN: 0196-8904

Groundwater heat pump systems cause thermal anomalies in the aquifer that can impact upon downstream systems and reduce their efficiency. Therefore, it is important to optimally position the extraction and injection wells of such systems to avoid negative interactions and maximize the thermal potential of the aquifer. This paper presents a new method to determine optimal well layouts of groundwater heat pumps using the adjoint approach, which is an efficient way to solve the underlying PDE-constrained optimization problem. An integral part of the method is the numerical groundwater simulation, which here is based on the finite element method. In addition, a multi-start initialization strategy is introduced in an attempt tobetter reach the global optimum. The method is applied to a real case study with 10 groundwater heat pumps, i.e. 20 wells, and two optimization scenarios with different natural groundwater temperatures. In both scenarios, the optimization method successfully determines a well layout that maximizes groundwater temperatures at all extraction wells. Comparing the results from these scenarios demonstrates that hydro-geological conditions can have a significant impact on the optimal well layout. The proposed method is equally applicable to systems with multiple extraction and injection wells and can be extended to various other shallow geothermal applications, such as combined heating and cooling systems.

Journal article

Clare MCA, Leijnse TWB, McCall RT, Diermanse FLM, Cotter CJ, Piggott MDet al., 2022, Multilevel multifidelity Monte Carlo methods for assessing uncertainty in coastal flooding, Natural Hazards and Earth System Sciences, Vol: 22, Pages: 2491-2515, ISSN: 1561-8633

When choosing an appropriate hydrodynamic model, there is always a compromise between accuracy and computational cost, with high-fidelity models being more expensive than low-fidelity ones. However, when assessing uncertainty, we can use a multifidelity approach to take advantage of the accuracy of high-fidelity models and the computational efficiency of low-fidelity models. Here, we apply the multilevel multifidelity Monte Carlo method (MLMF) to quantify uncertainty by computing statistical estimators of key output variables with respect to uncertain input data, using the high-fidelity hydrodynamic model XBeach and the lower-fidelity coastal flooding model SFINCS (Super-Fast INundation of CoastS). The multilevel aspect opens up the further advantageous possibility of applying each of these models at multiple resolutions. This work represents the first application of MLMF in the coastal zone and one of its first applications in any field. For both idealised and real-world test cases, MLMF can significantly reduce computational cost for the same accuracy compared to both the standard Monte Carlo method and to a multilevel approach utilising only a single model (the multilevel Monte Carlo method). In particular, here we demonstrate using the case of Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, USA, that this improvement in computational efficiency allows for in-depth uncertainty analysis to be conducted in the case of real-world coastal environments – a task that would previously have been practically unfeasible. Moreover, for the first time, we show how an inverse transform sampling technique can be used to accurately estimate the cumulative distribution function (CDF) of variables from the MLMF outputs. MLMF-based estimates of the expectations and the CDFs of the variables of interest are of significant value to decision makers when assessing uncertainty in predictions.

Journal article

Piggott M, 2022, Multilevel multifidelity Monte Carlo methods for assessing coastal flood risk, Natural Hazards and Earth System Sciences, Vol: 22, Pages: 2491-2515, ISSN: 1561-8633

Abstract. When choosing an appropriate hydrodynamic model, there is always a compromise between accuracy and computational cost, with high fidelity models being more expensive than low fidelity ones. However, when assessing uncertainty, wecan use a multifidelity approach to take advantage of the accuracy of high fidelity models and the computational efficiencyof low fidelity models. Here, we apply the multilevel multifidelity Monte Carlo method (MLMF) to quantify uncertainty by computing statistical estimators of key output variables with respect to uncertain inputs, using the high fidelity hydrodynamicmodel XBeach and the lower fidelity coastal flooding model SFINCS. The multilevel aspect opens up the further advantageouspossibility of applying each of these models at multiple resolutions. This work represents the first application of MLMF in thecoastal zone and one of its first applications in any field. For both idealised and real-world test cases, MLMF can significantlyreduce computational cost for the same accuracy compared to both the standard Monte Carlo method and to a multilevel approach utilising only a single model (the multilevel Monte Carlo method). In particular, here we demonstrate using the case ofMyrtle Beach, USA, that this improvement in computational efficiency allows in-depth uncertainty analysis to be conducted inthe case of real-world coastal environments – a task that would previously have been practically unfeasible. Moreover, for thefirst time, we show how an inverse transform sampling technique can be used to accurately estimate the cumulative distributionfunction (CDF) of variables from the MLMF outputs. MLMF based estimates of the expectations and the CDFs of the variables of interest are of significant value to decision makers when assessing risk.

Journal article

Pan W, Kramer SC, Piggott MD, Yu Xet al., 2022, Modeling landslide generated waves using the discontinuous finite element method, International Journal for Numerical Methods in Fluids, Vol: 94, Pages: 1-33, ISSN: 0271-2091

A new two-layer model for impulsive wave generation by deformable granular landslides is developed based upon a discontinuous Galerkin finite element discretization. Landslide motion is modeled using a depth-averaged formulation for a shallow subaerial debris flow, which considers the bed curvature represented by the local slope angle variable and accounts for inter-granular stresses using Coulomb friction. Wave generation and propagation are simulated with the three-dimensional non-hydrostatic coastal ocean model Thetis to accurately capture key features such as wave dispersion. Two different techniques are used in treating wetting and drying (WD) processes during the landslide displacement and wave generation, respectively. For the lower-layer landslide motion across the dry bed a classical thin-layer explicit WD method is implemented, while for the resulting free-surface waves interacted with the moving landslide an implicit WD scheme is utilized to naturally circumvent the artificial pressure gradient problem which may appear in the dynamic interaction between the landslide and water if using the thin-layer method. The two-layer model is validated using a suite of test cases, with the resulting good agreement demonstrating its capability in describing both the complex behaviors of granular landslides from initiation to deposition, and the consequent wave generation and propagation.

Journal article

Little A, Piggott MD, Buchan AG, 2022, Development of a gamma ray dose rate calculation and mapping tool for Lagrangian marine nuclear emergency response models., Marine Pollution Bulletin, Vol: 181, Pages: 1-12, ISSN: 0025-326X

This paper presents the development and testing of a gamma radiation dose rate calculation model for the marine environment, and evaluates the potential use for such a model in both short term nuclear emergency response management and emergency response planning. This is believed to be the first implementation of a full field gamma radiation mapping model (including air attenuation and buildup) to be incorporated within a Lagrangian marine dispersion model. Calculated surface gamma ray dose rates for nine generic release scenarios are presented and used to undertake an emergency countermeasure optioneering assessment.

Journal article

Christensen AK, Piggott MD, van Sebille E, van Reeuwijk M, Pawar Set al., 2022, Investigating microscale patchiness of motile microbes under turbulence in a simulated convective mixed layer., PLoS Comput Biol, Vol: 18

Microbes play a primary role in aquatic ecosystems and biogeochemical cycles. Spatial patchiness is a critical factor underlying these activities, influencing biological productivity, nutrient cycling and dynamics across trophic levels. Incorporating spatial dynamics into microbial models is a long-standing challenge, particularly where small-scale turbulence is involved. Here, we combine a fully 3D direct numerical simulation of convective mixed layer turbulence, with an individual-based microbial model to test the key hypothesis that the coupling of gyrotactic motility and turbulence drives intense microscale patchiness. The fluid model simulates turbulent convection caused by heat loss through the fluid surface, for example during the night, during autumnal or winter cooling or during a cold-air outbreak. We find that under such conditions, turbulence-driven patchiness is depth-structured and requires high motility: Near the fluid surface, intense convective turbulence overpowers motility, homogenising motile and non-motile microbes approximately equally. At greater depth, in conditions analogous to a thermocline, highly motile microbes can be over twice as patch-concentrated as non-motile microbes, and can substantially amplify their swimming velocity by efficiently exploiting fast-moving packets of fluid. Our results substantiate the predictions of earlier studies, and demonstrate that turbulence-driven patchiness is not a ubiquitous consequence of motility but rather a delicate balance of motility and turbulent intensity.

Journal article

Song W, Zhang M, Wallwork JG, Gao J, Tian Z, Sun F, Piggott MD, Chen J, Shi Z, Chen X, Wang Jet al., 2022, M2N: mesh movement networks for PDE solvers

Mainstream numerical Partial Differential Equation (PDE) solvers requirediscretizing the physical domain using a mesh. Mesh movement methods aim toimprove the accuracy of the numerical solution by increasing mesh resolutionwhere the solution is not well-resolved, whilst reducing unnecessary resolutionelsewhere. However, mesh movement methods, such as the Monge-Ampere method,require the solution of auxiliary equations, which can be extremely expensiveespecially when the mesh is adapted frequently. In this paper, we propose toour best knowledge the first learning-based end-to-end mesh movement frameworkfor PDE solvers. Key requirements of learning-based mesh movement methods arealleviating mesh tangling, boundary consistency, and generalization to meshwith different resolutions. To achieve these goals, we introduce the neuralspline model and the graph attention network (GAT) into our modelsrespectively. While the Neural-Spline based model provides more flexibility forlarge deformation, the GAT based model can handle domains with more complicatedshapes and is better at performing delicate local deformation. We validate ourmethods on stationary and time-dependent, linear and non-linear equations, aswell as regularly and irregularly shaped domains. Compared to the traditionalMonge-Ampere method, our approach can greatly accelerate the mesh adaptationprocess, whilst achieving comparable numerical error reduction.

Working paper

Clare MCA, Piggott MD, Cotter CJ, 2022, Assessing erosion and flood risk in the coastal zone through the application of multilevel Monte Carlo methods, Coastal Engineering, Vol: 174, ISSN: 0378-3839

Coastal zones are vulnerable to both erosion and flood risk, which can be assessed using coupled hydro-morphodynamic models. However, the use of such models as decision support tools suffers from a high degreeof uncertainty, due to both incomplete knowledge and natural variability in the system. In this work, we showfor the first time how the multilevel Monte Carlo method (MLMC) can be applied in hydro-morphodynamiccoastal ocean modelling, here using the popular model XBeach, to quantify uncertainty by computing statisticsof key output variables given uncertain input parameters. MLMC accelerates the Monte Carlo approach throughthe use of a hierarchy of models with different levels of resolution. Several theoretical and real-world coastalzone case studies are considered here, for which output variables that are key to the assessment of flood anderosion risk, such as wave run-up height and total eroded volume, are estimated. We show that MLMC cansignificantly reduce computational cost, resulting in speed up factors of 40 or greater compared to a standardMonte Carlo approach, whilst keeping the same level of accuracy. Furthermore, a sophisticated ensemblegenerating technique is used to estimate the cumulative distribution of output variables from the MLMC output.This allows for the probability of a variable exceeding a certain value to be estimated, such as the probabilityof a wave run-up height exceeding the height of a seawall. This is a valuable capability that can be used toinform decision-making under uncertainty

Journal article

Clare MCA, Kramer SC, Cotter CJ, Piggott MDet al., 2022, Calibration, inversion and sensitivity analysis for hydro-morphodynamic models through the application of adjoint methods, Computers and Geosciences, Vol: 163, Pages: 1-13, ISSN: 0098-3004

The development of reliable, sophisticated hydro-morphodynamic models is essential for protecting the coastal environment against hazards such as flooding and erosion. There exists a high degree of uncertainty associated with the application of these models, in part due to incomplete knowledge of various physical, empirical and numerical closure related parameters in both the hydrodynamic and morphodynamic solvers. This uncertainty can be addressed through the application of adjoint methods. These have the notable advantage that the number and/or dimension of the uncertain parameters has almost no effect on the computational cost associated with calculating the model sensitivities. Here, we develop the first freely available and fully flexible adjoint hydro-morphodynamic model framework. This flexibility is achieved through using the pyadjoint library, which allows us to assess the uncertainty of any parameter with respect to any model functional, without further code implementation. The model is developed within the coastal ocean model Thetis constructed using the finite element code-generation library Firedrake. We present examples of how this framework can perform sensitivity analysis, inversion and calibration for a range of uncertain parameters based on the final bedlevel. These results are verified using so-called dual-twin experiments, where the ‘correct’ parameter value is used in the generation of synthetic model test data, but is unknown to the model in subsequent testing. Moreover, we show that inversion and calibration with experimental data using our framework produces physically sensible optimum parameters and that these parameters always lead to more accurate results. In particular, we demonstrate how our adjoint framework can be applied to a tsunami-like event to invert for the tsunami wave from sediment deposits.

Journal article

Jordan C, Dundovic D, Fragkou AK, Deskos G, Coles DS, Piggott MD, Angeloudis Aet al., 2022, Combining shallow-water and analytical wake models for tidal-array micro-siting, Journal of Ocean Engineering and Marine Energy, Vol: 8, Pages: 193-215, ISSN: 2198-6444

For tidal-stream energy to become a competitive renewable energy source, clustering multiple turbines into arrays is paramount. Array optimisation is thus critical for achieving maximum power performance and reducing cost of energy. However, ascertaining an optimal array layout is a complex problem, subject to specific site hydrodynamics and multiple inter-disciplinary constraints. In this work, we present a novel optimisation approach that combines an analytical-based wake model, FLORIS, with an ocean model, Thetis. The approach is demonstrated through applications of increasing complexity. By utilising the method of analytical wake superposition, the addition or alteration of turbine position does not require re-calculation of the entire flow field, thus allowing the use of simple heuristic techniques to perform optimisation at a fraction of the computational cost of more sophisticated methods. Using a custom condition-based placement algorithm, this methodology is applied to the Pentland Firth for arrays with turbines of 3.05m/s rated speed, demonstrating practical implications whilst considering the temporal variability of the tide. For a 24-turbine array case, micro-siting using this technique delivered an array 15.8% more productive on average than a staggered layout, despite flow speeds regularly exceeding the rated value. Performance was evaluated through assessment of the optimised layout within the ocean model that treats turbines through a discrete turbine representation. Used iteratively, this methodology could deliver improved array configurations in a manner that accounts for local hydrodynamic effects.

Journal article

Warder SC, Angeloudis A, Piggott MD, 2022, Sedimentological data-driven bottom friction parameter estimation in modelling Bristol Channel tidal dynamics, OCEAN DYNAMICS, Vol: 72, Pages: 361-382, ISSN: 1616-7341

Journal article

Wallwork JG, Barral N, Ham DA, Piggott MDet al., 2022, Goal-oriented error estimation and mesh adaptation for tracer transport modelling, Computer-Aided Design, Vol: 145, Pages: 1-21, ISSN: 0010-4485

This paper applies metric-based mesh adaptation methods to advection-dominated tracer transport modelling problems in two and three dimensions, using the finite element package Firedrake. In particular, the mesh adaptation methods considered are built upon goal-oriented estimates for the error incurred in evaluating a diagnostic quantity of interest (QoI). In the motivating example of modelling to support desalination plant outfall design, such a QoI could be the salinity at the plant inlet, which could be negatively impacted by the transport of brine from the plant’s outfall. Four approaches are considered, one of which yields isotropic meshes. The focus on advection-dominated problems means that flows are often anisotropic; thus, three anisotropic approaches are also considered. Meshes resulting from each of the four approaches yield solutions to the tracer transport problem which give better approximations to QoI values than uniform meshing, for a given mesh size. The methodology is validated using an existing 2D tracer transport test case with a known analytical solution. Goal-oriented meshes for an idealised time-dependent desalination outfall scenario are also presented.

Journal article

Zhang J, Zhang C, Angeloudis A, Kramer SC, He R, Piggott MDet al., 2022, Interactions between tidal stream turbine arrays and their hydrodynamic impact around Zhoushan Island, China, Ocean Engineering, Vol: 246, Pages: 1-13, ISSN: 0029-8018

Tidal currents represent an attractive renewable energy source particularly because of their predictability. Prospective tidal stream development sites are often co-located in close proximity. Under such circumstances, in order to maximise the exploitation of the resource, multiple tidal stream turbine arrays working in tandem would be needed. In this paper, a continuous array optimisation approach based on the open source coastal ocean modelling framework Thetis is applied to derive optimal configurations for four turbine arrays around Zhoushan Islands, Zhejiang Province, China. Alternative optimisation scenarios are tested to investigate interactions between the turbine arrays and their hydrodynamic footprint. Results show that there are no obvious competition effects between these four arrays around Hulu and Taohua Island. However, significant interactions could arise among the three turbine arrays situated around Hulu Island, with a maximum decrease in average power of 42.2%. By optimising all turbine arrays simultaneously, the competition effects can be minimised and the cost of energy reduced as less turbines are required to deliver an equivalent energy output. As for the potential environmental impact, it is found that the turbine array around Taohua Island would affect a larger area than turbine arrays around Hulu Island.

Journal article

Anagnostopoulos S, Piggott M, 2022, Offshore wind farm wake modelling using deep feed forward neural networks for active yaw control and layout optimisation, WindEurope Electric City Conference, Publisher: IOP PUBLISHING LTD, ISSN: 1742-6588

Conference paper

Shadrick JR, Hurst MD, Piggott MD, Hebditch BG, Seal AJ, Wilcken KM, Rood DHet al., 2021, Multi-objective optimisation of a rock coast evolution model with cosmogenic Be-10 analysis for the quantification of long-term cliff retreat rates, Earth Surface Dynamics, Vol: 9, Pages: 1505-1529, ISSN: 2196-6311

This paper presents a methodology that uses site-specific topographic and cosmogenic 10Be data to perform multi-objective model optimisation of a coupled coastal evolution and cosmogenic radionuclide production model. Optimal parameter estimation of the coupled model minimises discrepancies between model simulations and measured data to reveal the most likely history of rock coast development. This new capability allows a time series of cliff retreat rates to be quantified for rock coast sites over millennial timescales. Without such methods, long-term cliff retreat cannot be understood well, as historical records only cover the past ∼150 years. This is the first study that has (1) applied a process-based coastal evolution model to quantify long-term cliff retreat rates for real rock coast sites and (2) coupled cosmogenic radionuclide analysis with a process-based model. The Dakota optimisation software toolkit is used as an interface between the coupled coastal evolution and cosmogenic radionuclide production model and optimisation libraries. This framework enables future applications of datasets associated with a range of rock coast settings to be explored. Process-based coastal evolution models simplify erosional processes and, as a result, often have equifinality properties, for example that similar topography develops via different evolutionary trajectories. Our results show that coupling modelled topography with modelled 10Be concentrations can reduce equifinality in model outputs. Furthermore, our results reveal that multi-objective optimisation is essential in limiting model equifinality caused by parameter correlation to constrain best-fit model results for real-world sites. Results from two UK sites indicate that the rates of cliff retreat over millennial timescales are primarily driven by the rates of relative sea level rise. These findings provide strong motivation for further studies that investigate the effect of past and future relative sea level

Journal article

Collins DS, Avdis A, Wells MR, Dean CD, Mitchell AJ, Allison PA, Johnson HD, Hampson GJ, Hill J, Piggott MDet al., 2021, Prediction of shoreline–shelf depositional process regime guided by palaeotidal modelling, Earth-Science Reviews, Vol: 223, ISSN: 0012-8252

Ancient shoreline–shelf depositional systems are influenced by an unusually wide array of geological, biological and hydrodynamic processes, with sediment transport and deposition primarily determined by the interaction of river, wave (including storm) and tidal processes, and changes in relative sea level. Understanding the impact of these processes on shoreline–shelf morphodynamics and stratigraphic preservation remains challenging. Numerical modelling integrated with traditional facies analysis provides an increasingly viable approach, with the potential to quantify, and thereby improve understanding of, the impact of these complex coastal sedimentary processes. An integrated approach is presented here that focuses on palaeotidal modelling to investigate the controls on ancient tides and their influence on sedimentary deposition and preservation – one of the three cornerstones of the ternary process classification scheme of shoreline-shelf systems. Numerical tidal modelling methodology is reviewed and illustrated in three palaeotidal model case studies of different scales and focus. The results are synthesised in the context of shoreline–shelf processes, including a critique and modification of the process-based classification scheme.The emphasis on tidal processes reflects their global importance throughout Earth’s history. Ancient palaeotidal models are able to highlight and quantify the following four controls on tidal processes: (1) the physiography (shape and depth) of oceans (1000s km scale) determines the degree of tidal resonance; (2) the physiography of ocean connections to partly enclosed water bodies (100–1000s km scale) determines the regional-scale flux of tidal energy (inflow versus outflow); (3) the physiography of continental shelves influences shelf tidal resonance potential; and (4) tides in relatively local-scale embayments (typically 1–10s km scale) are influenced by the balance of tidal amplification

Journal article

Coles D, Angeloudis A, Greaves D, Hastie G, Lewis M, Mackie L, McNaughton J, Miles J, Neill S, Piggott M, Risch D, Scott B, Sparling C, Stallard T, Thies P, Walker S, White D, Willden R, Williamson Bet al., 2021, A review of the UK and British Channel Islands practical tidal stream energy resource, Proceedings of the Royal Society A: Mathematical, Physical and Engineering Sciences, Vol: 477, Pages: 1-33, ISSN: 1364-5021

This review provides a critical, multi-faceted assessment of the practical contribution tidal stream energy can make to the UK and British Channel Islands future energy mix. Evidence is presented that broadly supports the latest national-scale practical resource estimate, of 34 TWh/year, equivalent to 11% of the UK’s current annual electricity demand. The size of the practical resource depends in part on the economic competitiveness of projects. In the UK, 124 MW of prospective tidal stream capacity is currently eligible to bid for subsidy support (MeyGen 1C, 80 MW; PTEC, 30 MW; and Morlais, 14 MW). It is estimated that the installation of this 124 MW would serve to drive down the levelized cost of energy (LCoE), through learning, from its current level of around 240 £/MWh to below 150 £/MWh, based on a mid-range technology learning rate of 17%. Doing so would make tidal stream cost competitive with technologies such as combined cycle gas turbines, biomass and anaerobic digestion. Installing this 124 MW by 2031 would put tidal stream on a trajectory to install the estimated 11.5 GW needed to generate 34 TWh/year by 2050. The cyclic, predictable nature of tidal stream power shows potential to provide additional, whole-system cost benefits. These include reductions in balancing expenditure that are not considered in conventional LCoE estimates. The practical resource is also dependent on environmental constraints. To date, no collisions between animals and turbines have been detected, and only small changes in habitat have been measured. The impacts of large arrays on stratification and predator–prey interaction are projected to be an order of magnitude less than those from climate change, highlighting opportunities for risk retirement. Ongoing field measurements will be important as arrays scale up, given the uncertainty in some environmental and ecological impact models. Ba

Journal article

Mackie L, Kramer SC, Piggott MD, Angeloudis Aet al., 2021, Assessing impacts of tidal power lagoons of a consistent design, OCEAN ENGINEERING, Vol: 240, ISSN: 0029-8018

Journal article

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

Zhang C, Kramer SC, Angeloudis A, Zhang J, Lin X, Piggott MDet al., 2021, Improving tidal turbine array performance through the optimisation of layout and yaw angles, European Wave and Tidal Energy Conference, Pages: 2205-1-2205-7-2205-1-2205-7, ISSN: 2706-6932

Tidal stream currents change in magnitude and direction during flood and ebb tides. Setting the most appropriate yaw angles for a tidal turbine is not only important to account for the performance of a single turbine, but can also be significant for the interactions between the turbines within an array. In this paper, a partial differentiation equation (PDE) constrained optimisation approach is established based on the Thetis coastal ocean modelling framework. The PDE constraint takes the form here of the two-dimensional, depth-averaged shallow water equations which are used to simulate tidal elevations and currents in the presence of tidal stream turbine arrays. The Sequential Least Squares Programming (SLSQP) algorithm is applied with a gradient obtained via the adjoint method in order to perform design optimisation. An idealised rectangular channel test case is studied to demonstrate this optimisation framework. Located in the centre of the computational domain, turbine arrays comprised of 12 turbines are tested in aligned and staggered layouts. The setups are initially optimised based on their yaw angles alone; their locations and yaw angles are also optimized simultaneously to improve the array overall performance. Results indicate that for the aligned turbine array case, the energy output can be increased by approximately 80% when considering yaw angle optimisation alone. For the staggered turbine array, the increase is approximately 30%. The yaw optimised staggered array is able to outperform the yaw optimised aligned array by approximately 8%. If both layout and the yaw angles of the turbines are considered within the optimisation then the increase is more significant compared with optimising yaw angle alone.

Conference paper

Goss ZL, Coles DS, Kramer SC, Piggott MDet al., 2021, Efficient economic optimisation of large-scale tidal stream arrays, Applied Energy, Vol: 295, Pages: 1-17, ISSN: 0306-2619

As the tidal energy industry moves from demonstrator arrays comprising just a few turbines to large-scale arrays made up of potentially hundreds of turbines, there is a need to optimise both the number of turbines and their spatial distribution in order to minimise cost of energy. Optimising array design manually may be feasible for small arrays, but becomes an impractically large approach when the number of devices is high, especially if taking into account both the cost effectiveness of each turbine and also the coupled nature of the turbine locations and the local as well as far-field hydrodynamics.Previous work has largely focused on producing computational tools to automatically design the size and layout of large-scale tidal turbine arrays to optimise power. There has been some limited preliminary work to incorporate costs into these models, in order to improve the economic viability of tidal arrays. This paper provides the first in depth implementation and analysis of economic functionals, based upon metrics such as break even power and levelised cost of energy, used for design of explicit array sizing and spatial variation.The addition of these new economic functionals introduces complexity by increasing the number of inputs to the model, each of which are subject to their own uncertainty in value. For this reason, sensitivity analysis becomes both more important as well as more difficult to undertake. This paper presents a novel rapid methodology for deriving the optimal array design (number of turbines and their spatial distribution throughout the farm area) to minimise cost functionals, and its sensitivity to variations in the economic inputs. Importantly, the new aspects of this method introduced here do not rely on repeated model runs and iterative optimisation, two aspects that typically prove to be impractically expensive computationally. This more readily allows for the impact of changes in investor priorities to be investigated. It is also shown tha

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

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

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

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