UD civil engineers lead research to examine models for coastal readiness at U.S. military bases
University of Delaware civil engineers are leading a multi-institutional effort to identify the best models to calculate flood risk at coastal military installations where climate change threatens to increase the risk of flood damage from sea level rise and storm surge.
The four-year project, which launched in mid-2022 and will run through spring 2025, is funded by a $2.2 million grant from the U.S. Department of Defense (DoD). Project partners include faculty and students from the Netherlands, North Carolina State University, the University of South Alabama, Texas A&M and the United States Geological Survey (USGS).
“The goal is to provide guidance to the DoD about the strengths and weaknesses of each model in comparison. They’re all going to have things they’re good with and things they struggle with,” Dietrich said. Those comparisons will help the agencies decide what types of models they want to use to get what types of information — depending on how much time, effort and funding they want to commit.
There’s also a goal of reducing cost and building smarter models, he said.
“If we are able to improve our predictions at very specific sites along the coast, we also can have better predictions at other specific sites along the coast, like someone’s house or a bridge or other infrastructure,” Dietrich said.
A Begmohammadi, D Wirasaet, AC Poisson, JL Woodruff, JC Dietrich, D Bolster, AB Kennedy (2022). “Numerical extensions to incorporate subgrid corrections in an established storm surge model.” Coastal Engineering Journal, published online, DOI: 10.1080/21664250.2022.2159290.
JF Gorski, JC Dietrich, RA Luettich, MV Bilskie, DL Passeri, RC Mickey. “Deterministic, Dynamic Model Forecasts of Storm-Driven Erosion.” Young Coastal Scientists and Engineers Conference – Americas, Pensacola, Florida, 4-6 November 2022.
JS Knowles, JC Dietrich, JA Puleo, F Shi, A Dongeren, S Smallegan, J Figlus, C Storlazzi. “Storm Surge Predictions at Hyper-Local Sites.” Young Coastal Scientists and Engineers Conference – Americas, Pensacola, Florida. 4-6 November 2022.
A Gharagozlou, DL Anderson, JF Gorski, JC Dietrich (2022). “Emulator for Eroded Beach and Dune Profiles due to Storms.” Journal of Geophysical Research: Earth Surface, 127(8), e2022JF006620, DOI: 10.1029/2022JF006620.
Alireza is now a coastal engineer with Taylor Engineering, Inc., and Carter will start his MS studies at Oregon State University. We also celebrated the graduation of Vega Sproul, who was an intern at the Coastal Studies Institute and then an undergraduate researcher with Dr. Beth Sciaudone. We are extremely proud of them!