Type of Presentation

Oral

Session Title

Toward Coordinated Resilience Planning Where People and Ecosystems are Being Squeezed by Climate Change

Description

Wave energy reaching the coast is expected to increase exponentially with sea-level rise as bottom friction is reduced, exacerbating impacts to low-lying areas. This study describes storm surge models constructed with Delft3D and SUNTANS for the Strait of Juan de Fuca, Whidbey Basin, and the Strait of Georgia in the Salish Sea to help resource managers identify and prioritize ecosystem-scale restoration efforts for salmon and shellfish and coastal and marine planning. The models are run in an operational mode, forced by regional numerical weather prediction (NWP) output and tidal data, to inform of impending threats of coastal inundation, erosion, and salinity intrusion up to 48 hours in advance. Models are also prescribed with probabilistic sea-level rise scenarios to assess habitat and infrastructure vulnerability out to the year 2100. Validation using instrumentation focuses on refining understanding of the role of bed roughness and aquatic vegetation on wave dissipation, storm surge, and wind/wave set-up that contribute to total dynamic water levels. Validation data for storm surge, wave runup, inundation, and coastal impacts are gathered in collaboration with a citizen-science network monitoring storm surge. Results from model runs of several recent storms, including the anomalous summer wind storm of August 29, 2015, agree well with observed wave heights, inundation of important habitats (beach berms, pocket estuaries, and marsh edges) and deposition of storm debris. Preliminary analyses indicate storm surge is significant in Puget Sound, commonly elevating water levels 0.5 to 1.0 m above predicted tides up to 13-15% of the time. Simulations show that storm surge will compound the effects of sea-level rise on waves and thus increase scour to beaches and estuary wetlands important for salmon, shellfish, forage fish, agriculture and diverse infrastructure vital to human well-being.

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Storm Surge Inundation Model to Inform Puget Sound Ecosystem Impacts in a Future of Sea-Level Rise

2016SSEC

Wave energy reaching the coast is expected to increase exponentially with sea-level rise as bottom friction is reduced, exacerbating impacts to low-lying areas. This study describes storm surge models constructed with Delft3D and SUNTANS for the Strait of Juan de Fuca, Whidbey Basin, and the Strait of Georgia in the Salish Sea to help resource managers identify and prioritize ecosystem-scale restoration efforts for salmon and shellfish and coastal and marine planning. The models are run in an operational mode, forced by regional numerical weather prediction (NWP) output and tidal data, to inform of impending threats of coastal inundation, erosion, and salinity intrusion up to 48 hours in advance. Models are also prescribed with probabilistic sea-level rise scenarios to assess habitat and infrastructure vulnerability out to the year 2100. Validation using instrumentation focuses on refining understanding of the role of bed roughness and aquatic vegetation on wave dissipation, storm surge, and wind/wave set-up that contribute to total dynamic water levels. Validation data for storm surge, wave runup, inundation, and coastal impacts are gathered in collaboration with a citizen-science network monitoring storm surge. Results from model runs of several recent storms, including the anomalous summer wind storm of August 29, 2015, agree well with observed wave heights, inundation of important habitats (beach berms, pocket estuaries, and marsh edges) and deposition of storm debris. Preliminary analyses indicate storm surge is significant in Puget Sound, commonly elevating water levels 0.5 to 1.0 m above predicted tides up to 13-15% of the time. Simulations show that storm surge will compound the effects of sea-level rise on waves and thus increase scour to beaches and estuary wetlands important for salmon, shellfish, forage fish, agriculture and diverse infrastructure vital to human well-being.