Articles | Volume 17, issue 9
Research article
12 Sep 2017
Research article |  | 12 Sep 2017

Rip current evidence by hydrodynamic simulations, bathymetric surveys and UAV observation

Guido Benassai, Pietro Aucelli, Giorgio Budillon, Massimo De Stefano, Diana Di Luccio, Gianluigi Di Paola, Raffaele Montella, Luigi Mucerino, Mario Sica, and Micla Pennetta

Abstract. The prediction of the formation, spacing and location of rip currents is a scientific challenge that can be achieved by means of different complementary methods. In this paper the analysis of numerical and experimental data, including RPAS (remotely piloted aircraft systems) observations, allowed us to detect the presence of rip currents and rip channels at the mouth of Sele River, in the Gulf of Salerno, southern Italy. The dataset used to analyze these phenomena consisted of two different bathymetric surveys, a detailed sediment analysis and a set of high-resolution wave numerical simulations, completed with Google EarthTM images and RPAS observations. The grain size trend analysis and the numerical simulations allowed us to identify the rip current occurrence, forced by topographically constrained channels incised on the seabed, which were compared with observations.

Short summary
The study of the shallow coastal area of the Sele mouth in the Gulf of Salerno (southern Italy) identified the features of nearshore circulation, which often produced rip currents. The occurrence of a rip current cell circulation in restricted ranges of heights, periods and incident directions was related to the non-dimensional fall velocity parameter, which proved to be an efficient index for rip current formation.
Final-revised paper