A generic module in which tides, surges and waves are incorporated has been developed, tested and prepared for dissemination within the framework of the MAST III PROMISE (PRe-Operational Modelling In the Seas of Europe) project. Two existing pre-operational numerical models, a wave model and a hydrodynamic model, were incorporated into a coupling framework that allows an efficient exchange of information between them. Minimal adaptation of the models was needed. The module has then been implemented and applied to the North Sea, then a series of experiments were performed to investigate the sensitivity of waves and surges to coupling. These experiments show that the sensitivity of waves to coupling increases from deep to shallow water. The sensitivity of surges is more uniformly distributed. The sensitivity of surges to coupling along the Spanish coast was also studied. The model results were less sensitive than in the North Sea. This is explained by the relative importance of the two forcing components, the atmospheric pressure and the wind stress, in both areas. (C) 2000 Elsevier Science B.V. All rights reserved.
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