Dr Harshinie Karunarathna

Dr Harshinie Karunarathna

Harshinie Karunarathna

 

Associate Professor of Coastal Engineering

Overview

Specialist Subjects: Coastal and Estuary Engineering, Marine Renewables

MSc (Lond), DIC, PhD (Saitama)

BSc (Eng), University of Moratuwa, Sri Lanka (Civil Engineering)
MSc, DIC, Imperial College, London (River Estuary and Coastal Engineering)
PhD, Saitama University, Japan (Coastal Engineering)

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Research

Dr Harshinie Karunarathna is a very active researcher in the field of coastal and estuary hydrodynamics, coastal flooding, climate change impacts on the coastal zone, sediment transport and coastal morphodynamics and environmental impacts of marine renewables. Her research is mainly funded by RUCK and she has led numerous research projects on coastal and estuary engineering. Dr Karunarathna is member of the EPSRC funded Flood and Coastal Erosion Risk Management Network and an honorary member of the Japanese Government-Kyoto University funded Global Alliance for Disaster Risk Reduction and Resilience. She has authored more than 100 articles in high impact international journals and peer reviewed conference proceedings.

Main research interests:

  • Impacts of global climate change on the coastal environment
  • Impacts of extreme weathers on coastal areas
  • Coastal flood risk
  • Environmental impacts of marine renewables
  • Computational modelling of coastal and estuarine dynamics
  • Ecological influence on coastal morphology

Recent and current research projects: 

-          EcoWAtt2020 (EPSRC)

Strategic marine planning for future phases of wave, tidal and offshore wind development is now in progress. EcoWatt2050 project has been specifically designed to answer following questions raised by planners and licensing authorities (1) How can marine planning be used to lay the foundation for the sustainable development of very large scale arrays of marine renewable energy devices? (2) What criteria should be used to determine the ecological limits to marine renewable energy extraction, and what are the implications for very large scale array characteristics? (3) How can we differentiate the effects of climate change from energy extraction on the marine ecosystem? (4) Are there ways in which marine renewables development may ameliorate or exacerbate the predicted effects of climate change on marine ecosystems? The overarching objective is thus to determine ways in which marine spatial planning and policy development, can enable the maximum level of marine energy extraction, while minimizing environmental impacts and ensuring that these meet the legal criteria established by European law.

-          FloodMEMORY: Multi event modelling of risk and recovery (EPSRC)

The project will look at the most critical flood scenarios caused by sequences or clusters of extreme weather events striking vulnerable coastal and river systems, communities and businesses. The project will analyse and simulate situations where a second flood may strike before coastal or river defences have been reinstated after damage, or householders and small businesses are in a vulnerable condition recovering from the first flood. By examining such events and identifying the worst case scenarios, we hope our findings will lead to enhanced flood resilience and better allocation of resources for protection and recovery. Ultimately the processes developed could be used worldwide. Other aspects of the project will look at how coasts (beaches, dunes and engineered defences) and rivers behave during storms. Of particular interest is the effect of previous storms and floods moving sediment (i.e. shingle, sand and river bed material) so that the beach or river is in a different (perhaps weaker) condition when a second flood event arrives.

-          iCOASST: Integrated coastal sediment systems (NERC)

Prediction of changing coastal morphology over timescales of decades raises scientific challenges to which there are not yet widely applicable solutions. Yet improved predictions are essential in order to quantify the risk of coastal erosion. Whilst ‘bottom-up’ process-based models provide valuable evidence about hydrodynamic, sediment transport and morphodynamic processes in the short term, their predictive accuracy over scales of decades is for the time being fundamentally limited. Meanwhile, behavioural systems models, that focus on the main processes and feedback mechanisms that regulate coastal form have been shown to have predictive capability at the mesoscale (10-100 years and 10-100 km). However, their application has been limited to a rather narrow sub-set of coastal forms. The iCOASST project is based upon a hierarchical systems concept which combines (i) the beneficial features of process-based models, (ii) a new generation of coastal behavioural systems models, and (iii) an extended approach to coastal systems mapping, which can be used to systematise and formalise different sources of knowledge about coastal behaviour. All the software developed within iCoast will be open source and OpenMI compliant.

-          TeraWatt: Large scale Interactive coupled 3D modelling for wave and tidal energy resource and environmental impact ( EPSRC)

As part of the licensing arrangements for marine energy development projects, environmental impacts on the immediate vicinity of the energy device arrays will be addressed in the EIA process. It is essential however that the regulatory authorities understand how a number of multi-site developments collectively impact on the physical and biological environment over a wider region. At a regional scale, careful selection of sites may enable the optimum exploitation of the resource while minimising environmental impacts to an acceptable limit. The Terawatt project will investigate (i) The best way to assess the wave and tidal energy resource and the effects of energy extraction on the resource itself and (ii) The physical and ecological consequences of wave and tidal energy extraction. The project will use a collection of state of the art coastal area models to investigate these aspects in order to generate a suite of methodologies that can provide better understanding of, and be used to access, the alteration of the resource from energy extraction, and of the physical and ecological consequence.

Selected publications

  • Iain Fairly, Ian Masters, Harshinie Karunarathna, The cumulative impact of tidal stream turbine arrays on sediment transport in the Pentland Firth, Renewable Energy, Renewable Energy, 2015, [ISBN:0960-1481]
  • Harshinie Karunarathna, Yoshiaki Kuriyama, Hajime Mase, Jose Horrillo-Caraballo, Dominic Reeve, Forecasts of seasonal to inter-annual beach change using a reduced physics beach profile model, Marine Geology, 2015, 365, 1, [ISSN:0025-3227], [DOI: doi:10.1016/j.margeo.2015.03.009]
  • Pushpa Dissanayake, Jenny Brown, Harshinie Karunarathna, Impacts of storm chronology on the morphological changes of the Formby beach and dune system, UK, Natural Hazards and Earth Systems Science, 2015, 3, [DOI: doi:10.5194/nhessd-3-2565-2015]
  • Harshinie Karunarathna, Analysis of Climate Change Effects on Seawall Reliability, Coastal Engineering Journal, 2015
  • Mase Hajime, Tomoshiro Yasuda, T Reis, J-A Master, Harshinie Karunarathna, Stability Formula and Failure Probability Analysis of Wave-Dissipating Blocks Considering Wave Breaking, 2014, [DOI: DOI 10.1007/s40722-014-0004-0.]
  • Douglas Pender, David Callaghan, Harshinie Karunarathna, An evaluation of methods available for quantifying extreme beach, 2014, [DOI: DOI 10.1007/s40722-014-0003-1]
  • Pushpa Dissanayake, Jennifer Brown, Harshinie Karunarathna, Modelling storm induced beach/dune evolution: Sefton Coast, 2014, [DOI: doi.org/10.1016/j.margeo.2014.07.013]
  • S.M. Husain, J.R. Muhammed,, D.E. Reeve, Harshinie Karunarathna, Investigation of pressure variations over stepped spillways using smooth particle hydrodynamics, 2014
  • Harshinie Karunarathna, Stability Formula and Failure Probability Analysis of Wave-Dissipating Blocks Considering Wave Breaking, Journal of Ocean Engineering and Marine Energy, 2014, [DOI: DOI 10.1007/s40722-014-0004-0]
  • Harshinie Karunarathna, D.E. Reeve, A hybrid approach to model shoreline change at multiple timescales, Continetal Shelf Research, 2013, 66, pp.29, [ISSN:0278-4343], [DOI: j.csr.2013.06.019]
  • Douglas Pender, Harshinie Karunarathna, A statistical-process based approach for modelling beach profile variability, 2013, [DOI: doi. 10.1016/j.coastaleng.2013.06.006]
  • Harshinie Karunarathna, Jose M Horrillo-Caraballo, Roshanka Ranasinghe, Andrew D Short, Dominic E Reeve, An analysis of the cross-shore beach morphodynamics of a sandy and a composite gravel beach, Marine Geology, 2012, 299-302, [ISSN:00253227], [DOI: 10.1016/j.margeo.2011.12.011]
  • Harshinie Karunarathna, Jose M Horrillo-Caraballo, Roshanka Ranasinghe, Andrew D Short, Dominic E Reeve, An analysis of the cross-shore beach morphodynamics of a sandy and a composite gravel beach, Marine Geology, 2012, 299-302, pp.33, [ISSN:00253227], [DOI: doi:10.1016/j.margeo.2011.12.011]
  • Harshinie Karunarathna, Jose M Horrillo-Caraballo, Dominic E Reeve, Prediction of cross-shore beach profile evolution using a diffusion type model, Continental Shelf Research, 2012, 48, pp.157, [ISSN:02784343], [DOI: 10.1016/j.csr.2012.08.004]
  • Harshinie Karunarathna, Modelling the long-term morphological evolution of the Clyde Estuary, Scotland, UK, Journal of Coastal Conservation, 2011, 15, 4, [DOI: 10.1007/s11852-010-0138-8]
  • Harshinie Karunarathna, Analysis of key parameters in a diffusion type beach profile evolution model, Continental Shelf Research, 2011, 31, 2, [DOI: 10.1016/j.csr.2010.11.008]
  • Harshinie Karunarathna, A statistical-process based approach for modelling beach profile variability, Coastal Engineering, 2011, 81, pp.19, [ISSN:0378-3839], [DOI: 10.1016/j.coastaleng.2013.06.006]
  • Harshinie Karunarathna, J Horrillo-Caraballo, M Spivack, D.E. Reeve, On modelling cross-shore beach morphology, Journal of Coastal Research, 2011
  • Harshinie Karunarathna, Modelling long-term evolution of the Clyde Estuary, Scotland, UK, Journl of Coast Conservation, 2010, [DOI: DOI 10.1007/s11852-010-0138-8]
  • Dominic E Reeve, Harshinie Karunarathna, On the prediction of long-term morphodynamic response of estuarine systems to sea level rise and human interference, Continental Shelf Research, 2009, 29, 7, [ISSN:02784343], [DOI: 10.1016/j.csr.2009.01.010]
  • Harshinie Karunarathna, Dominic E Reeve, Mark Spivack, Beach profile evolution as an inverse problem, Continental Shelf Research, 2009, 29, 18, [ISSN:02784343], [DOI: 10.1016/j.csr.2009.08.016]
  • Harshinie Karunarathna, Dominic Reeve, Mark Spivack, Long-term morphodynamic evolution of estuaries: An inverse problem, Estuarine, Coastal and Shelf Science, 2008, 77, 3, [ISSN:02727714], [DOI: 10.1016/j.ecss.2007.09.029]
  • Harshinie Karunarathna, A Boolean Approach to Prediction of Long-Term Evolution of Estuary Morphology, Journal of Coastal Research, 2008, 24, [DOI: 10.2112/05-0542.1]

Teaching

  • EG-160 - Fluid Mechanics 1 (15/16)
  • EG-M87 - Coastal engineering (15/16)
  • EGA331 - Coastal processes and engineering (15/16)
  • EG-M35 - Flood Risk Management (15/16)
  • EG-M107 - Coastal Processes and Engineering (15/16)
  • EGA117 - Fluid Mechanics (15/16)

Research theses supervised

PhD

  • 2016 - To be defined (2nd Supervisor: Professor Dominic Reeve)
  • 2014 - Computational investigation of gabion spillway flows (1st Supervisor: Professor Dominic Reeve)
  • 2014 - Climate change impacts on beaches (2nd Supervisor: Professor Dominic Reeve)
  • 2013 - Morphodynamic response of estuaries to climate change (2nd Supervisor: Professor Dominic Reeve)
  • 2013 - Computational modelling of wave overtopping as a result of climate change (1st Supervisor: Professor Dominic Reeve)
  • 2013 - 'Modelling of the stratified flow circulation in greenland Fjords' (1st Supervisor: Professor Dominic Reeve)
  • 2012 - 'Impacts of tidal energy extraction on sea bed morphology' (2nd Supervisor: Professor Dominic Reeve)
  • 2011 - 'Computational investigation of skimming flow on stepped spillways using the smoothed particle hydrodynamics Method' (1st Supervisor: Professor Dominic Reeve)

MSc

  • 2015 - To be defined
  • 2014 - 'Investigation into long term sediment transport along the Sefton coastline using beach profile data'
  • 2014 - 'Climate change and Storm Climate analysis at Sefton coast, Liverpool Bay, UK'
  • 2013 - 'Beach profile variability with wave climate'
  • 2013 - 'Analysis of Storm impacts on sandy beaches'
  • 2012 - 'Analysis of Beach Profile Variability'

Additional information

Main Research Grants

EcoWatt2050 (EPSRC) 2013-2016

FloodMEMORY –Multi-Event Modelling of Risk and recovery (EPSRC)   2012-2016

iCOASST - Integrated coastal sediment systems (NERC)   2012-2016

TeraWatt: Large scale Interactive coupled 3D modelling for wave and tidal energy resource and environmental impact (EPSRC)  2012-2015

Cellular Automata approach for estuary morphodynamic modelling (GRPE)-2008-2012

Professional Activities/External Appointments

  • External Examiner, Faculty of Engineering MSc Programme in Coastal Engineering, University of West Indies.
  • Associate Editor, Frontiers in Marine Science (2015 onwards)
  • Guest Editor, Water – Special Issue -Forecast of Extreme Events in the Water Cycle—Data, Models and Uncertainties (2015 onwards)
  • Guest Editor, Journal of Marine Science and Engineering – Special Issue – Waves in Coasts and Estuaries (2015 onwards)
  • Member, International Association of Hydro-environmental Research (2013-2015)
  • Associate Member Institution of Engineers Sri Lanka (2000 onwards)
  • Member, Global Alliance for Disaster Risk Management (2015 onwards)
  • Member, Flood and Coastal Erosion Risk Management Network (2013 onwards)
  • Scientific Committee, Seventh International Conference on Flood Management 2017, Leeds, UK
  • Deputy Chair, IMA International Conference in Flood Risk 2015, Swansea UK
  • Session Chair, IMA International Conference in Flood Risk 2015, Swansea UK
  • Session Chair, ICOASST Conference, 2014, Southampton, UK
  • Co-Chair, Telford-SAGES Workshop on ‘Applied Sediment Dynamics: Scaling Issues – 2010, Glasgow, UK

Honours, Awards, Fellowships and Scholarships

  • JAMSTEC Nakanishi Award for the paper ‘Analysis of climate change impacts on seawall reliability, Coastal Engineering Journal, Vol. 57(3)’ (2016). The award was made by the Federation of Ocean Engineering Societies, Japan.
  • Selected for EPSRC Sandpit on ‘Flood and Coastal Erosion Risk management’ and took part in the project ranked No. 1 by the panel (2012)
  • EPSRC Post-doctoral fellowship (2006-2007). The fellowship was awarded by the University of Plymouth
  • DEFRA/EA Post-doctoral research fellowship (2004-2006). The fellowship was awarded by the University of Plymouth
  • Award for Outstanding Research Performance (2000). The award was made by the University of Moratuwa, Sri Lanka. 
  • Award for the Best B.Sc (Engineering) Final Year Project in Water Engineering (1990). The award was made by the University of Moratuwa, Sri Lanka.
  • Nominated for Presidents award for Outstanding Academic Research (2001). The award was made by the President of Sri Lanka.
  • Danish Technical Research Council Post-doctoral research fellowship (1997). The fellowship was awarded by the Technical University of Denmark
  • MONBUSHO Scholarship for outstanding Sri Lankans to conduct research at PhD level (1992-1995). The award was made by the Government of Japan.

Invited Lectures/Short Courses

  • Disaster Prevention Research Institute, Kyoto University, Japan (2015) Forecasts of seasonal to inter-annual beach change using a reduced-physics beach profile model
  • Kanazawa University, Japan (2015). Analysis of multi-scale beach change
  • Disaster Prevention Research Institute, Kyoto University, Japan (2014) Modelling memory of coastal systems
  • Disaster Prevention Research Institute, Kyoto University (2013) Statistical-Process based model to predict long term beach change
  • ICCE2014, Seoul, Korea – short course on ‘Climate change effects on coastal engineering problems’
  • Kansas State University, US (2011) Modelling impacts of climate variability on the coastal zone
  • GCOE-ARS Science and Education Programme, University of Kyoto, Japan (2010) A Hybrid Approach for Predicting Morphodynamic Response of Estuaries to Climate Change
  • University of Moratuwa, Sri Lanka (2009), Climate Change and Coastal Water Bodies - Predicting the Future: Near and Far (2008)
  • University of Newcastle, UK (2008). A Systems Models for Estuary Morphology
  • International Geosphere-Biosphere Programme Workshop on Estuary Modeling and Coastal Zone Management, 1999, Sri Lanka.