Modelling surface temperature of granite seawalls in Singapore

Kuifeng Zhao, Jing Yuan*, Lynette H. L. Loke, Shelley H. M. Chan, Peter Alan Todd, Philip Li-Fan Liu

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Citations (Scopus)


Temperature is a critical abiotic factor structuring intertidal life on hard-bottom habitats, including manmade coastal defense structures. To quantitatively describe the daily surface temperature variations of a seawall in Singapore, a physically based mathematical model is developed, which considers key thermal processes (i.e., solar radiation absorption, long wave emission, and heat convection). This model is nonlinear because of the nonlinear boundary conditions and the moving seawater level boundary. It is therefore solved numerically with appropriate initial conditions. Good model - data comparison is confirmed with field measurements. Results show that the maximum seawall temperature reached as high as about 48 °C. Temperature variation was illustrated using contour plots. A high temperature index on the seawall, T 95% , is defined as the threshold temperature that 95% of all temperatures at a given elevation do not exceed. T 95% will be useful for investigating the effects of temperature on biodiversity in intertidal systems. The effect of seawall slopes and monsoons on T 95% is further examined. For Singapore's seawalls, it is found that the extreme temperature decreases with increasing slope, and the T 95% during the southwest monsoon season is approximately 4 °C higher than that during the northeast monsoon.

Original languageEnglish
Article number100395
Pages (from-to)1-15
Number of pages15
JournalCase Studies in Thermal Engineering
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2019
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Copyright the Author(s) 2019. Version archived for private and non-commercial use with the permission of the author/s and according to publisher conditions. For further rights please contact the publisher.


  • Coastal environment
  • Ecological engineering
  • Granite seawall
  • Heat conduction equation
  • Intertidal zone
  • Numerical model


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