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Storm surge simulation along the U.S. East and Gulf Coasts using a multi-scale numerical model approach
Xu, H.; Zhang, K.; Shen, J.; Li, Y. (2010). Storm surge simulation along the U.S. East and Gulf Coasts using a multi-scale numerical model approach. Ocean Dynamics 60(6): 1597-1619.
In: Ocean Dynamics. Springer-Verlag: Berlin; Heidelberg; New York. ISSN 1616-7341, more
Peer reviewed article  

Available in  Authors 

Author keywords
    Multi-scale grid model; Storm surge; Inundation prediction; LiDAR;ELCIRC; South Florida; Chesapeake Bay

Authors  Top 
  • Xu, H.
  • Zhang, K.
  • Shen, J.
  • Li, Y.

    The effectiveness of simulating surge inundation using the Eulerian–Lagrangian circulation (ELCIRC) model over multi-scale unstructured grids was examined in this study. The large domain model grid encompasses the western North Atlantic Ocean, the Gulf of Mexico, and the Caribbean Sea to appropriately account for remote and resonance effects during hurricane events and simplify the specification of the open boundary condition. The U.S. East and Gulf Coasts were divided into 12 overlapping basins with fine-resolution (up to 30?×?30 m) grids to model overland surge flooding. These overlapping basins have different fine-resolution grids near the coastal region, but have an identical coarse-resolution grid in the offshore region within the large model domain. Thus, the storm surge prediction can be conducted without reducing computation efficiency by executing multiple model runs with local fine-resolution grids where potential hurricane landfalls may occur. The capability of the multi-scale approach was examined by simulating storm surge caused by Hurricanes Andrew (1992) and Isabel (2003) along the South Florida coast and in the Chesapeake Bay. Comparisons between simulated and observed results suggest that multi-scale models proficiently simulated storm surges in the Biscayne Bay and the Chesapeake Bay during two hurricanes. A series of sensitivity tests demonstrated that the simulation of surge flooding was improved when LiDAR topographic data and special bottom drag coefficient values for mangrove forests were employed. The tests also showed that appropriate representation of linear hydrologic features is important for computing surge inundation in an urban area.

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