Using a Global-Regional-Coastal FVCOM System to Assess the Impact of Sea Level Rise on Hurricane and Nor’easter-induced Flood Risk over Massachusetts Coast

Lead Pi: Changsheng Chen · 2/2014 - 1/2017

Project Personnel: Robert C Beardsley

Project number: 2014-R/RC-137

FVCOM is an ìend to endî inundation model for the Massachusetts coast that has been validated for extra-tropical storms (noríeasters) from 2005, 2007 and 2010, and for 1991ís Hurricane Bob. We now propose to add storm-induced coastal inundation due to sea level rise (SLR) from climate change to the FVCOM model. New capabilities for the system will incorporate the bathymetry of regional and local seabeds; the topography of land elevations; and the geometry of complex and irregular coastlines. We will account for the flooding/drying process, wave-current interaction, refraction, radiation stress and wave run-up, as well as river discharge, tidal forcing, surface wind pressure, and precipitation minus evaporation. We will use extreme weather events such as Hurricane Bob, Hurricane Sandy, the December 2010 noríeaster, and the February 2013 storm as test cases to run the coupled wave-current GoM-FVCOM model, with and without inclusion of higher sea levels. These experiments will allow us to assess the impact of SLR on storm surge along our coast and support highly accurate future prediction of storm impact on Massachusetts coastal communities.