Fundamental to ECFAS’ commitment to capacity building for coastal flood awareness and resilience is training the next generation of end users, flood risk managers, and early-career researchers. The ECFAS Traineeship Programme is aimed at European and international post-graduate scientists, engineers and researchers, with the goal of providing professional working experience on modelling/algorithms development for coastal flood awareness systems.
ECFAS has allocated a total of three traineeships for young professionals, the third of which was awarded to Paulo Cabrita (MSc). Paulo is a PhD student at the University of Ferrara, developing 2D XBeach models for different European countries.
From April to June 2022, Paulo joined researchers from Collecte Localisation Satellites (CLS), in a traineeship facilitated by Consorzio Futuro in Ricerca (CFR), to develop an overview of the basis of altimeter measurements and processing. Paulo characterized the signature of different extreme events on different variables/parameters deduced from altimetry in terms of sea surface height, significant wave height, altimeter wind speed, using pre-processed altimeter measurements (validated and cross-calibrated) available in CLS databases. Applying a methodology proposed by CLS to construct altimeter time series in defined regions and characterize them in term of extreme event signature and return period, results were compared with those from modelled surges (including atmospheric forcing and ocean tides). Comparison with in situ measurements, using the high frequency tide gauge measurement available on CMEMS and focusing on extreme events identified over the European coasts (e.g. extreme event identified for ECFAS project, eSurge database, etc.), led to an improvement of the methodology.
Through the traineeship, Paulo gained experience in altimeter measurement and processing, and in best-practices to extract from altimeter measurements useful information for extreme events observation. This traineeship also contributed to the qualification of the capability of the altimeter measurement to accurately sample specific events.