Effects of spatial variation and surface waves on tidal site characterisation

Duncan Sutherland, Alistair Borthwick, Vengatesan Venugopal, Brian Sellar

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution


Tidal site characterisation is often carried out using data from a single Diverging-beam Acoustic Doppler Profiler (D-ADP). This is usually undertaken in the summer months due to ease of deployment, and so provides limited information on the surface wave climate and its effect on water fluctuations
throughout the water column. Moreover, a single D-ADP survey does not quantify spatial variation across the site. The present paper interprets data from two D-ADPs separated by 78 m normal to the flow direction, acquired at the Fall of Warness, Orkney, UK during winter months when relatively large wave
conditions occur. Insignificant differences are found to occur in the stream-wise velocity components and turbulence intensity Iu between the two locations during the flood tide. However, discrepancies in the velocity and Iudepth profiles occur between the two locations during the ebb tide, leading to available power
differences of up to 49 %. Wave conditions with mean Hm0 of 2.1 m, classed as ‘high’ for this location, lead to substantial increases in Iu, reaching 93.2 % averaged over the depth. The largest differences occur near the free surface, as would be expected. This work highlights the importance to site characterisation studies of incorporating data at high spatial resolution and the need to include wave measurements.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationProceedings of 12th European Wave and Tidal Energy Conference, EWTEC17
Pages839-1 to 839-8
Number of pages8
Publication statusPublished - 2017


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