Prediction and assimilation of surf-zone processes using a Bayesian network: Part II: Inverse models

Coastal Engineering
By:  and 



A Bayesian network model has been developed to simulate a relatively simple problem of wave propagation in the surf zone (detailed in Part I). Here, we demonstrate that this Bayesian model can provide both inverse modeling and data-assimilation solutions for predicting offshore wave heights and depth estimates given limited wave-height and depth information from an onshore location. The inverse method is extended to allow data assimilation using observational inputs that are not compatible with deterministic solutions of the problem. These inputs include sand bar positions (instead of bathymetry) and estimates of the intensity of wave breaking (instead of wave-height observations). Our results indicate that wave breaking information is essential to reduce prediction errors. In many practical situations, this information could be provided from a shore-based observer or from remote-sensing systems. We show that various combinations of the assimilated inputs significantly reduce the uncertainty in the estimates of water depths and wave heights in the model domain. Application of the Bayesian network model to new field data demonstrated significant predictive skill (R2 = 0.7) for the inverse estimate of a month-long time series of offshore wave heights. The Bayesian inverse results include uncertainty estimates that were shown to be most accurate when given uncertainty in the inputs (e.g., depth and tuning parameters). Furthermore, the inverse modeling was extended to directly estimate tuning parameters associated with the underlying wave-process model. The inverse estimates of the model parameters not only showed an offshore wave height dependence consistent with results of previous studies but the uncertainty estimates of the tuning parameters also explain previously reported variations in the model parameters.

Publication type Article
Publication Subtype Journal Article
Title Prediction and assimilation of surf-zone processes using a Bayesian network: Part II: Inverse models
Series title Coastal Engineering
DOI 10.1016/j.coastaleng.2010.11.002
Volume 58
Issue 3
Year Published 2011
Language English
Publisher Elsevier
Publisher location Amsterdam, Netherlands
Contributing office(s) St. Petersburg Coastal and Marine Science Center
Description 11 p.
First page 256
Last page 266
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