Wave Energy Impact on Benin’s Coastline Dynamics, Gulf of Guinea

Most of the shorelines around the world are affected by the phenomenon of coastal erosion, especially the Benin’s coastline.

We investigated the parameters (significant height, peak period and peak direction) and wave energy potential offshore Benin from ECMWF ERAI reanalysis. ERAI data have been adjusted with in situ data coming from the buoy installed off Autonomous Port of Cotonou (Benin) over a period of 14 years. Next, statistical analysis has been used to establish the link between wave energy and Benin’s coastline dynamics. Wave energy assessment has been carried using the empirical formula for medium water depths consideration (equation (10)).

The results show that in Benin’s coastal area, wave energy potential is moderate and available (Hs 1.36m, Tp 9.6 s and P 15.56kW.m-1). At seasonal scale, wave energy density P and coastline displacement are strongly linked (R2=0.9).

Wave energy exploitation will contribute to energy independence and will play a crucial role in mitigating of coastal erosion effects and consequently in the protection of the country’s coastline. Given the link between wave energy variability and coastline evolution, wave energy exploitation will help Benin country to improve its energy autonomy and consequently contribute to the mitigation of coastal erosion phenomenon observed this coast.

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