Articles | Volume 9, issue 2
Research article
20 Mar 2013
Research article |  | 20 Mar 2013

Sea wave modeling with X-band COSMO-SkyMed© SAR-derived wind field forcing and applications in coastal vulnerability assessment

G. Benassai, A. Montuori, M. Migliaccio, and F. Nunziata

Abstract. In this paper, X-band COSMO-SkyMed© synthetic aperture radar (SAR) wind field data are first used to force coastal wind wave modeling for both sea wave numerical simulation and coastal vulnerability assessment purposes. The SAR-based wind field retrieval is accomplished by resolving the SAR-based wind speed and wind direction retrieval problems independently. The sea surface wind speed is retrieved through the azimuth cut-off procedure, and the sea surface wind direction is determined by the multi-resolution analysis of the discrete wavelet transform. The wind wave modeling is based on the third-generation Simulating WAves Nearshore (SWAN) model, which is used for sea wave state estimation in coastal and inland regions. The coastal vulnerability assessment is provided by means of a key parameter, known as impact index, which evaluates the coastal risk due to the inundation of the inshore land. Experiments consist of SWAN numerical simulations run with respect to some relevant wave storms recorded in the southern Tyrrhenian Sea on 2010, with applications in coastal vulnerability assessment along the Sele coastal plain. Experimental results show the benefits of blended wind field products, provided by European Centre for Medium Weather Forecast (ECMWF) model winds and SAR-based wind field estimations, for both wind wave modeling and coastal vulnerability assessment purposes.