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Geotechnical approach to early-stage site characterisation of shallow wave energy sites


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Heatherington, G, Grinham, A, Penesis, I ORCID: 0000-0003-4570-6034, Hunter, S and Cossu, R 2021 , 'Geotechnical approach to early-stage site characterisation of shallow wave energy sites' , Journal of Marine Science and Engineering, vol. 9, no. 6 , pp. 1-14 , doi: 10.3390/jmse9060605.

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Marine renewable energy is still in its infancy and poses serious challenges due to the harsh marine conditions encountered for wave or tidal installations and the survivability of devices. Geophysical and hydrodynamic initial site surveys need to be able to provide repeatable, reliable, and economical solutions. An oscillating water column wave energy converter is to be installed on the west coast of King Island, Tasmania. The location is in a high-energy nearshore environment to take advantage of sustained shoaling non-breaking waves of the Southern Ocean and required site-specific information for the deployment. We provide insight into scalable geophysical site surveys capable of capturing large amounts of data within a short time frame. This data was incorporated into a site suitability model, utilising seabed slope, sediment depth, and water depth to provide the terrain analysis needed to match deployment-specific characteristics. In addition, short-term hydrology and geotechnical work found a highly energetic seabed (near seafloor water velocities <1 m/s) with sufficient bearing capacity (6 MPa). In a highly energetic environment, care was taken to collect the relevant data needed for an assessment of critical information to an emerging technology companies primary project. This is in addition to the malleable methodology for a site suitability model that can incorporate various weighted parameters to prioritise the location for shallow wave energy sites in general.

Item Type: Article
Authors/Creators:Heatherington, G and Grinham, A and Penesis, I and Hunter, S and Cossu, R
Keywords: seabed characterisation, sub-bottom profiling, kriging interpolation, site-suitability model
Journal or Publication Title: Journal of Marine Science and Engineering
Publisher: MDPIAG
ISSN: 2077-1312
DOI / ID Number: 10.3390/jmse9060605
Copyright Information:

Copyright: © 2021 by the authors. Licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland. This article is an open access article distributed under the terms and conditions of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International (CC BY 4.0) license (

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