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The impact of tidal energy extraction on the morphodynamics of the Irish Sea

Date: November 05, 2013 at 16:18 GMT

Exploitation of the tidal energy resource has been demonstrated to reduce flow speeds and affect the deposition of coarse sediment in the vicinity of Tidal Energy Converter (TEC) arrays, yet the far reaching hydrodynamic and morphological effects have yet to be determined. This impact could be significant in areas where sand banks form regions that exhibit asymmetries in terms of the sediment flux.
Certain locations within the Irish Sea have strong tidal currents which are favourable extraction by means of TEC arrays. In this study, we apply an unstructured morphodynamic model to the Irish Sea, firstly to evaluate the hydrodynamic resource, and then to investigate energy extraction scenarios. The model has been adapted to include an additional bed friction source term to represent energy extraction due to TEC arrays, sited at velocity locations off North West Anglesey.

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