The University of Southampton

SOES6011 Modelling Coastal Processes

Module Overview

This course builds on fundamental principles of coastal dynamics taught in SOES3014. The purpose is to apply these fundamental principles to actual coastal settings and issues.

Aims and Objectives

Module Aims

• To introduce you to the fundamental concepts of numerical modelling in a coastal setting. • To provide you with practical experience of building, validating and running numerical models to simulate the conditions in coastal and estuarine environments. • To demonstrate the wide range of industrial and academic applications in which numerical models can be used. • To teach you a range of practical skill-sets for field measurement and laboratory analysis of hydrodynamic and sediment parameters to support numerical modelling studies, using a variety of equipment.

Learning Outcomes

Learning Outcomes

Having successfully completed this module you will be able to:

  • Discuss what a numerical model is and distinguish the difference types of models that can be used to simulate coastal processes.
  • Working in groups.
  • Written presentation of scientific material.
  • Oral presentation skills in a public setting.
  • Identify the equations that form the basis of a numerical model and describe how these are discretized in space and time over a numerical grid.
  • Configure, validate and run a coastal hydrodynamic numerical model using the Telemac Suite of model tools.
  • Use model predictions to describe the flow patterns and infer sediment transport pathways in a variety of coastal settings.
  • Analyse and synthesis model results and effectively communicate, both orally and in written reports, the insights or understanding gained from applying numerical models.
  • Evaluate the assumptions and limitations of numerical models;
  • Familiarity with running coastal numerical models.
  • Interpretation and communication of model results.
  • Development of key skills for boat and lab work in coastal context.


This module involves three main components. In week 1 lectures introduce you to the concepts of numerical modelling in the coastal setting and computer practical’s give you hands on experience creating, validating and running numerical models. Week 2 involves boat work in the Solent and laboratory analysis of the data collected on the boat. In week 3 you use knowledge gained in week 1 to create a hydrodynamic model of the Solent. You then validate the model against field measurements collected in Week 2 to ensure the model is able to accurately reproduce hydrodynamic conditions within the Solent. You then use the model to explore options for improving navigation into Southampton Water from the Solent, by considering a dredge. At the end of Week 3 you will present your findings and produce a written report.

Learning and Teaching

Teaching and learning methods

This will be an intensive short course of 3 weeks duration. Formal Lectures: 20 x one hour duration. Practical Work: 15 hours of computer simulation; 10 hours of boat work and laboratory analysis; 10 hours of independent project work on an assessed topic. The course will be structured into three week-long themes 1. Numerical Modelling 2. Boat work and Laboratory analysis; and 3. Application of results to a case studies A wide range of support can be provided for those students who have further or specific learning and teaching needs.

Practical classes and workshops10
Independent Study90
Project supervision10
Total study time150



MethodPercentage contribution
Logbook 10%
Oral presentation 40%
Report  (2500 words) 50%
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