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Tales of the Coast
Coastal Dynamics

Storm Surge Modeling

Storm surges are the result of low barometric pressure and high winds, and they can have devastating effects on coastal areas. Numerical models provide a viable way to examine the potential impacts of storm surges on coastal areas. Flooding and structural damage from storm surges can be more fully understood with these models.

Two-dimensional models are particularly useful for studies in which change in surface level elevation is the primary concern, such as for storm surges or seiches.

The coast of Delaware study (Mark, Scheffner, and Borgman 1993) provides an excellent example of storm surge modeling over very large computational domains. A two-dimensional version of the ADvanced CIRCulation (ADCIRC) model was used to successfully compute tidal and storm surge simulations along the open coast of Delaware and inside Delaware Bay.


Storm Surge Modeling

Physical models are not viable alternatives if the problem of concern is wind-dominated. In these situations, numerical models are preferable.