[Posted on August 13th 2014 by Bill Stewart]
Whether you’re sailing a boat, buying coastal property, or planning coastal city development, a good understanding of marine conditions and variables is essential. At Stewart Technology Associates, we have the resources to perform a detailed hydrodynamic analysis of your local waterways, providing you with all the information you need for marine success.
Hydrodynamic analysis is the evaluation of marine environments, with a specific focus on water movement, salinity, and temperature. Analysts begin by researching the environment in question. The more detailed and comprehensive the data they gather, the more accurate their analysis will be.
Once the data is gathered, it is fed into a model, which evaluates all marine conditions and determines how they will interact with each other. Originally, analysts built physical models of the ecosystem, but with the advent of computers, most analysis companies now rely on digital models. The models identify trends in marine conditions and make predictions for future changes in the marine environment. At Stewart Technology, we use OrcaFlex, one of the best marine analysis programs on the market. The models are then made available for coastal developers, who can plan their future boating and construction endeavors around them.
How is hydrodynamic analysis useful?
We preform these analyses to help coastal communities avoid environmental and public health threats. Many of the most dangerous water-borne diseases and predators are sensitive to particular environmental conditions. For example, sea nettles, a type of dangerous jellyfish, can only live in moderately salty water that is twenty degrees Celsius or warmer. Our analysts can predict the likely locations of sea nettles, as well as the times of year when they are likely to appear, making it easier for swimmers to avoid these animals.
Our analysts can also help coastal developers measure and moderate their impact on the environment. Say runoff from a proposed road will change the heat and nutrient content of local waterways, increasing the number of algal blooms. By researching hydrodynamic conditions, we can determine the likely size of these blooms, as well as their likely damage to the local economy and environment. Developers can then decide whether the proposed road is worth the environmental cost.
Coastal developers who have effectively analyzed hydrodynamic conditions can plan more enduring construction projects. With have enough information, we can tell developers the full range of the region’s tides, as well as any other information that might affect coastal structures. This will help the developers to design structures that will survive for years, or even decades.
Finally, during a marine accident investigation, authorities must analyze hydrodynamic factors to determine the cause of the accident. Parties responsible for boating accidents often attribute the accidents to marine conditions rather than to their own negligence. We can assess the dangers of the site where the accident occurred and determine whether hydrodyanmic factors could plausibly have caused the accident.