Dr Kevin SeneHonorary Researcher
Hydrological models are widely used to estimate the potential impacts of climate variations on floods, droughts and water resources. There are many possible influences from both the oceans and atmosphere at a range of timescales and examples include phenomena such as the El Niño-Southern Oscillation and the North Atlantic Oscillation. Artificial influences may also play a role such as from changes in land use or operating rules.
The interactions can be complex so before launching into model development it is often useful to step back and consider the relative importance of each factor and statistical techniques provide a powerful way to do this. The methods used can range from simple analytical approaches to advanced stochastic techniques such as those developed at Lancaster Environment Centre.
In addition to physically-based modelling, one of my interests is therefore in using these types of approach to provide insights into system response and examples of applications to date include seasonal flow forecasting and assessing long-term variability in regional rainfall and lake levels. Linked to this is the choice of appropriate performance metrics to identify the statistical significance of any apparent changes particularly when, as is often the case, the underlying flow and rainfall records used in model calibration contain significant gaps in the early years.
Another interest is developing techniques for characterising tidal bores, which are spectacular waves that sweep inland on the highest tides. Examples include the Severn Bore in Gloucestershire, the Arnside Bore in Cumbria and Lancaster's very own tidal bore: the Lune Tidal Bore.
Kevin has more than thirty years' experience on consultancy and research projects in the UK and overseas, including in the USA, Spain, France, Italy, Lebanon, India, Sri Lanka, Central Asia, Sumatra, the Caribbean, and most countries in southern and eastern Africa. Clients have included Defra, DFID, the Environment Agency, European Commission, GIZ, SEPA, water companies, and the World Bank. His scientific publications include papers on water resources, flood forecasting, hydraulic modelling, flood estimation, climatology, micrometeorology and hydrometric data management, and books on flash floods and hydrometeorology. Other books include guides to the Mersey Estuary in Liverpool and Wirral, tidal bores and the coast of Cumbria and the Lake District. He is currently an independent consultant and past employers have included the Centre for Ecology & Hydrology in Wallingford and a major engineering consultancy. He is also a WMO Hydrology Expert and a Fellow of both the Royal Meteorological Society and the Royal Geographical Society. His author website is: www.meteowriter.com.
- Sustainable Catchments