Storm-induced surges have now been well studied, for example
using coupled wave-current models. On the other hand, during many hurricane
events, the flooding and the maximum surges inside bays, estuaries and
rivers depend on the distance to the coastal ocean. For locations away or
sheltered from the coastal ocean, the maximum surges are often attributed to
the inland river flooding instead of the coastal surges, especially for
hurricane events that have brought a substantial amount of precipitation.
We studied the two types of surges (coastal surges and precipitation-induced
surges) in Delaware Bay during Hurricane Irene (2011) using a fully coupled
wave-current 3D baroclinic model based on the SCHISM modeling system, forced
by flows predicted by the National Water Model, as part of NOAA's Integrated
Water Project. We demonstrate that the creek-to-ocean capability of the
model is essential to simulate the combined surge effects by using an
unstructured grid that includes both a large ocean domain and upstream
rivers and creeks (up to 10 m above sea level), with the precipitation
effects being explicitly incorporated in the model.
Joseph Zhang is a Research Professor at the Center for Coastal Resource Management and Center for Recurrent Flooding Resilience, Virginia Institute of Marine Science. He has over 25 years of experience in researching coastal and oceanic flow processes. He is the lead developer of the community model, SCHISM (schism. wiki), a comprehensive modeling system for geophysical fluid dynamics, ecosystem dynamics, sediment transport and oil spill processes. The model has been extensively applied to studies of natural and anthropogenic hazards worldwide.
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