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FVCOM: A New Model to Forecast Coastal Inundation Driven by Regional-to-Local Scale Changes in Atmospheric and Ocean Forcing due to Climate Change.

Changsheng Chen, UMASS Dartmouth
Robert Beardsley, Woods Hole Oceanographic Institute

Monday, June 16 @ 12:05pm


FVCOM is the unstructured Finite-Volume Community Ocean Model developed with the aim at simulating multi-scale ocean processes. This model has the advantage of resolving irregular coastal geometry and steep slope topography and ensuring local computational mass conservation. A global-basin-regional-coastal-estuarine-wetland FVCOM system has been established and placed into 24/7 forecast operation along the northeast US coastal region. This system presently includes three “end-to-end” nested coastal inundation hindcast/forecast models for Scituate and Boston (MA) and Hampton (NH).

The Scituate dynamically-based, current-wave coupled inundation model was validated for selected extratropical storms (Nor-easters) in 2005, 2007 and 2010, and the regional model for 1991 Hurricane Bob. FVCOM is now being applied to a) examine the impact of climate-change-induced sea level rise on future tropical and extratropical storm-induced coastal inundation in the Massachusetts coastal region and b) provide the state and agencies a quantitative assessment that could help in developing decision-making policy or strategies for future protection and development of coastal infrastructure, coastal zone management, coastal conservation and habitat restoration over time scales ranging from one to hundred years. The global-regional nested FVCOM system has successfully reproduced the interannual variability of sea ice in the Arctic in the past 36 years and simulated the coastal inundation caused by the 2011 Tōhoku earthquake-induced tsunami and subsequent spread of Cs137 across the Japanese shelf.


Chen, C., et al., 2014. The March 11, 2011 Tohoku M9.0 earthquake-induced tsunami and coastal inundation along the Japanese coast: A model assessment. Prog. Oceanogr. (2014)
14873 kb uploaded May 14, 2014 3:47pm

Chen, C., R. Beardsley, and G. Cowles, 2006. An unstructured-grid, finite-volume coastal ocean model (FVCOM) system. Oceanography, 19(1), 78-89.
2943 kb uploaded May 14, 2014 11:44am

Coastal flooding in Scituate (MA): a FVCOM study of the Dec. 27, 2010 nor’easter
3580 kb uploaded May 15, 2014 4:38pm

Presentation Slides
659 kb uploaded September 5, 2014 1:10pm