Observation and numerical simulation of nearshore hydrodynamics: implication for shoreline erosion and water quality (2016-2017)

Coastal zones are home to several vital infrastructure activities, including commercial and fishing ports, aquaculture farms and are also home to an important fraction of the world population. Deplorably, these zones around the world are extremely vulnerable today: unprecedented pressures of industrial and urban development affect water quality, while climate change related devastations, such as the growing intensities of cyclonic storms, the rise in sea surface temperature, sea surges, and sea level rise lead to increased coastal erosion. Therefore, monitoring the quality of coastal waters as well as its hydrodynamics (water level, wind speed and direction, wave characteristics) are paramount in order to tackle environmental issues related to coastal erosion.
The NANO-Africa Nearshore Hydrodynamics Group (NHG)’s current project aims to measure hydrodynamic parameters at the coasts of Ivory Coast and Tunisia as well as water quality parameters at the coasts of Brazil and Tunisia. Tide-wave gauges and weather stations have been deployed, and time-series on nearshore met-ocean data (wind, wave, sea level) have been collected.
This observation data is currently being used in numerical models with Delft-3D for nearshore flow and wave simulation.


  • Setup hydrodynamic and meteorological observatories in Ivory Coast and Tunisia to provide time-series data on the local meteorological conditions, tide and wave characteristics
  • Acquire bathymetric surveys to complement and improve the quality of existing bathymetric charts that will be used to construct the computation grid for the numerical simulation phase
  • Numerical simulation of the hydrodynamic processes involved in coastline erosion using the numerical modeling system DELFT-3D

Study location / Sample sites

Study sites include the Boughrara lagoon and adjacent Mediterranean Sea (Tunisian south-east coast), Port Bouët-Ebrié lagoon and adjacent ocean (Ivory Coast, Abidjan) and the São Sebastião Channel and adjacent ocean (Brazil).