Investigation of the Spatiotemporal Evolution of Tropical Cyclone Storm Surge under Sea Level Rise


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Virginia Tech


Storm surges induced by tropical cyclones have been ravaging coastal communities worldwide, where a growing number of people reside. Tremendous life and economic losses are caused by tropical cyclones, contributing to more than half of the damages induced by natural hazards. To improve the resilience of coastal communities to surge hazards, it is of great importance to provide reliable and efficient real time forecasts of the spatiotemporal evolution of storm surge, as well as reliable predictions of the probabilistic surge hazards under future conditions. Three specific goals are addressed in this work. Studies on characterization and prediction of surge before a hurricane landfall show that a dimensionless relationship between intensity scaled surge magnitude and wind-duration scaled surge timing may effectively be used for rapid and reliable forerunner surge forecasting. Investigation of how probabilistic surge hazard changes with sea level rise (SLR) shows that the probabilistic surge with SLR can be 1.0 m larger, while different individual storm's surge with the same magnitude can be 1.5 m larger or 0.1 m smaller, indicating the importance of not relying on results from a limited number of storm surge events to assess the probabilistic surge hazard change to SLR. Finally, studying the temporal evolution of coastal flooding changes with SLR shows forerunner surge responds differently to SLR than peak surge, and that storm forward speed is a key factor determining the forerunner-SLR response.



Storm Surge, Sea Level Rise, Numerical Model