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An Alert System for Beach Hazard Management in the Balearic Islands

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Abstract:

A real-time beach hazard level associated with nearshore hydrodynamics is presented in this article. The suitability of the discussed alert system is illustrated via its application to fifteen beaches in the Balearic Islands (Western Mediterranean Sea) providing nearshore safety conditions for beach safety manager. The system provides daily forecasts of nearshore wave conditions using the deep water wave forecasts. The shallow water wave data (wave height, period, and direction) together with the morphology of the site (presence of bars, capes, beach type, etc.) are used to define a hazard level (low, medium, and high) associated with local conditions. The resulting hazard level is transmitted via SMS to lifeguards and local authorities for real-time beach management. The low computational cost of this system after the initial implementation and subsequent calibration results in a very suitable approach for beach management in order to mitigate risks related to local hydrodynamics.

Keywords: beach hazard index; beach safety; nearshore hydrodynamics

Document Type: Research Article

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/08920750903150662

Affiliations: 1: Institut Mediterrani d'Estudis Avancats, IMEDEA(CSIC-UIB), Esporles, Balearic Islands, Spain 2: IH Cantabria, Santander, Spain

Publication date: November 1, 2009

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