New software to model tidal turbines’ effect on physical marine environment

Work is currently underway to use a new hydrodynamic model, called the Scottish Shelf Model (SSM) to model the effect of tidal turbines on the physical marine environment.

So far, the model has been used to provide tidal and wave energy resource maps around Orkney, and to study the connectivity of fish farm management areas.

The SSM, funded by the Scottish Government and developed under the direction of Marine Scotland scientists, has applications in fisheries, aquaculture, renewable energy, emergency response, marine planning, ecology and conservation.

It will be of particular interest to socio-economic sectors, such as aquaculture and marine renewable energy, where a high spatial resolution is required to adequately understand the complex physical processes in their regions of interest, according to Marine Scotland.

Project Manager Tracy McCollin said: “The project team has gone through a very interesting, challenging and technical process to deliver the Scottish Shelf Model and we are all looking forward to seeing it contribute to a wide range of uses. This is a very powerful tool and will play an important role in the further development of marine science in Scotland.”