Fernando Veloso Gomes
EsCo Ensembles: Estuarine and coastal numerical modeling ensembles for anthropogenic, extreme events and climate change scenarios
Estuarine/coastal areas have been intensively studied due to their physical processes complexity and the societal importance of their ecosystem services. Proper management must be based on a sound characterization of these areas, commonly made through in-situ measurements. However, to complement the measurements, to carry out accurately hydrodynamic studies, to simulate new scenarios and to understand the systems, numerical models are essential. Models assure a detailed hydrodynamic processes characterization, being an important tool to assess and predict the effects of anthropogenic intervention, extreme events or climatic change, strongly supporting an effective and integrated estuarine and coastal management and promoting the safety of populations and the sustainability of marine ecosystems and services. A thorough effort has been made to develop the most accurate models to simulate the complex coastal/estuarine circulation. However, notwithstanding the available powerful computational resources and the complex numerical model suites, models solutions can display uncertainties related to errors in the initial conditions, calibration parameters or forcing functions. We intend to develop a tool based on a numerical models applied to several Portuguese estuaries in face of anthropic interventions, extreme events and climate change, but this technic is extrapolated to any estuary region, reinforce its applicability at international level. Hydrodynamic software packages will be combined to provide relevant information for the estuarine/coastal areas and hydraulic structures adaptation, identifying vulnerable areas, protecting the natural resources and economic activities and allowing to manage, govern and plan the available water resources by predicting the risks and producing an information and decision support system. Key information will be created, providing answers to several sectors such as: coastal protection, harbor infrastructures, fisheries or tourism, among others, ensuring the sustainability of the ocean and coastal areas. The tasks proposed are under the scope of national and international strategies such as the Portuguese National Maritime Strategy, the H2020 programme or the Estrategia de Especialização Inteligente (RIS3). They include as primary objectives several topics as: climatic change and extreme weather effects, impacts and consequences on marine environments and water cycle. Being the risk mitigation and the protection of life and environment one of the main action fields, innovation and knowledge activities related with the sea are indispensable to promote a sustainable development of a littoral country such as Portugal.