Tide gauge installation

This project supports the installation, maintenance and training in the use of state-of-the-art tide gauge systems and enhances the technical capacity of stakeholders to use the data being generated to determine long-term sea level trends, inform coastal management policy, and mitigate the risk of coastal hazards. The technology provided also enables recipient countries to contribute to the regional tsunami warning system, and gives local stakeholders a better understanding of the impacts of sea level change for use in storm surge planning and coastal defence planning.

Through this project new tide gauges have so far been installed in St Lucia and Belize, and sea-level monitoring capabilities have been re-established in Dominica following the severe damage and loss of tide gauges caused by Hurricane Maria in 2017. All three tide gauges included robust bespoke steelwork with the capability to be quickly and easily collapsed and secured in the event of an imminent hurricane (to avoid loss or severe damage). The tide gauges were also designed to operate off solar power using a free satellite communications system (GOES), thereby eliminating utility bills and minimising operational costs. Multiple sea level monitoring technologies were included for redundancy in-case one system failed: (i) a high frequency sampling radar sensor that would collate 1 sec sea level measurements and average these once per minute; (ii) a suite of two underwater pressure sensors to monitor the height of the overlying water column at 1 min intervals. 

Regional training courses on the quality control and analysis of tidal and sea level data have also been jointly conducted with the IOC-UNESCO Intergovernmental Coordination Group for the tsunami and other coastal hazards warning system for the Caribbean and adjacent regions (ICG/CARIBE-EWS), supporting the development of a coordinated regional approach to disaster management in line with the UNDRR Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction and UN SDG14. These courses have included training by internationally recognised experts from the NOC, NOAA, UHSLC and PTWC, and also provided NOC-designed sea level analysis data processing software free to all users.

Countries supported

St Lucia; Belize; Dominica

Outputs

Installation of solar-powered tide gauges equipped with dual radar measurement technology, data logging equipment and satellite-linked data transmission systems at (i) Ganters Bay (Castries, St Lucia); (ii) Port of Belize (Belize City, Belize); and (iii) Portsmouth (Dominica).

Survey and provision of supporting steelwork for a second tide gauge installation at Half Moon Caye (Belize), enabling installation to be undertaken independently by the Belize Met Service.

Temporary repair of the tide gauge at Marigot (Dominica) following damage caused by Hurricane Maria in 2017.

Identification of sites suitable for GNSS reflectometry in Dominica, and supply of equipment for installation.

Provision of levelling equipment and training in how to use it to all three countries, supporting the determination of long-term sea level trends, establish national datums, and increase the legacy value of the installations).

Delivery of two regional training courses by international sea level experts in instrument maintenance, geodetic levelling procedures and operational use of tide gauge data.

UK-based training of a St Lucia Met Service representative in scientific use of tide gauge, including the provision of a lifetime licence for a computer-based tidal analysis and prediction software package.

Workshops

Tidal and sea level data quality control and analysis (February 2018; Mexico City)

Tidal and sea level data quality control and analysis (October 2016; St Lucia)

Angela Hibbert
Principal Investigator

 

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