Publication Detail

Development of An Inundation Forecast System for Massachusetts Coastal Waters

Changsheng Chen, Robert C. Beardsley
24 pp.
MITSG 13-26
$5.50 DOM / $7.50 INT

A nested wave-current fully coupled Finite-Volume Community Ocean Model (FVCOM) inundation forecast system has been developed for Massachusetts Coastal Waters. The system has been validated for selected extratropical storms (Nor-easters) of 2005, 2007 and 2010 in Scituate, MA and the 1991 Hurricane Bob over the New England shelf. In Scituate, results showed that wave-current interaction could 1) change the current direction from the along-shelf direction to the onshore direction over the northern shelf, enlarging the onshore water transport and 2) intensify an anti-cyclonic eddy in the harbor entrance and a cyclonic eddy in the harbor interior, which could push water inside the harbor towards the northern peninsula and the southern end and thus enhance flooding in those areas. For Hurricane Bob, results from process study-oriented experiments show that the impact of wave-current interaction on surge elevation varied in space and time, more significant over the shelf than inside the inner bays. While sea level change along the coast was mainly driven by the water flux controlled by barotropic dynamics and the vertically integrated highest water transports were essentially the same for cases with and without water stratification, the hurricane-induced wave-current interaction could generate strong vertical current shear in the stratified areas, leading to a strong offshore transport near the bottom and vertical turbulent mixing over the continental shelf. The inundation system has been placed into a 24/7 forecast operation and demonstrated a success in forecasting the sea level change and coastal inundation caused by the February 8-9 2013 Blizzard.

type: Presentations

Parent Project

Project No.: 2012-R/RC-127
Title: Development of an Inundation Forecast System for Massachusetts Coastal Waters

Other publications by this author (as Lead)