Interactions between Waves, Flooding and Beach Morphology during Storm Events

Our goal is to improve simulations of coastal flooding in regions where the beach morphology is highly dynamic during a storm event. The feedback between waves, surge and morphology must be better linked, specifically through the extension and coupling of state-of-the-art numerical models. Although most morphology models are limited in their geographic extents, we will extend and apply a process-driven model to represent erosion and breaching at larger scales. And, although most wave, surge and morphology models are coupled with one-way communication, we will develop an automated system to map information in both ways. This research will produce modeling technologies that will benefit coastal communities within North Carolina, and we will share these technologies and findings with stakeholders. Simulations of wave propagation and flooding (and specifically the simulations from our models) are used in North Carolina and elsewhere for building design, the establishment of flood insurance rates, and real-time decision support during storm events. These predictions will be strengthened via the proposed tight coupling with a beach morphology model. The resulting modeling system will better represent the nearshore response to storm impacts.

JC Dietrich, MF Overton, RA Luettich Jr. “Interactions between Waves, Flooding and Beach Morphology during Storm Events.National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, North Carolina Sea Grant, 2015/07/02, $98,225 (Dietrich: $88,378).