Articles | Volume 17, issue 9
Nat. Hazards Earth Syst. Sci., 17, 1493–1503, 2017

Special issue: The use of remotely piloted aircraft systems (RPAS) in monitoring...

Nat. Hazards Earth Syst. Sci., 17, 1493–1503, 2017

Research article 12 Sep 2017

Research article | 12 Sep 2017

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

Guido Benassai1, Pietro Aucelli2, Giorgio Budillon2, Massimo De Stefano2, Diana Di Luccio2, Gianluigi Di Paola2, Raffaele Montella2, Luigi Mucerino3, Mario Sica4, and Micla Pennetta5 Guido Benassai et al.
  • 1Department of Engineering, Parthenope University of Naples, 80133, Naples, Italy
  • 2Department of Science and Technology, Parthenope University of Naples, 80133, Naples, Italy
  • 3Department of Earth, Environment and Life Sciences, University of Genova, 16126, Genova, Italy
  • 4Autorità di Bacino Campania Centrale, 80138, Naples, Italy
  • 5Department of Earth, Environment and Resources Sciences, University of Naples Federico II, 80138, Naples, Italy

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