“Extratropical storm inundation testbed: Inter-model comparisons in Scituate, Massachusetts”

A new paper, just out, by C. Chen, R. C. Beardsley , R. A Luettich Jr, J. J. Westerink, H. Wang, W. Perrie, Q. Xu, A. S. Donahue, J. Qi, H. Lin, L. Zhao, P. C. Kerr, Y. Meng, B. Toulany, regarding applications of unstructured grid, full wave-coupled ocean models using the non-linear ADCIRC/SWAN, FVCOM/SWAVE, and SELFE/WWM numerical systems have the potential of doing for towns like Scituate what relatively static studies of sea-level rise cannot: Provide dynamics of ocean wave overtopping sea walls and dunes. It is a collaboration amoung WHOI, University of North Carolina, University of Massachusettts-Dartmouth, International Center for Marine Studies, Shanghai Ocean University, Shanghai, P. R. China, Bedford Institute of Oceanography, Dartmouth, Nova Scotia, Virginia Institute of Marine Science, Gloucester Point, VA, and University of Notre Dame, Notre Dame, IN.

The Abstract is quoted below:

The Integrated Ocean Observing System Super-regional Coastal Modeling Testbed had one objective to evaluate the capabilities of three unstructured-grid fully current-wave coupled ocean models (ADCIRC/SWAN, FVCOM/SWAVE, SELFE/WWM) to simulate extratropical storm-induced inundation in the U.S. northeast coastal region. Scituate Harbor (MA) was chosen as the extratropical storm testbed site, and model simulations were made for the May 24-27 2005 and April 17-20 2007 (“Patriot’s Day Storm”) nor’easters. For the same unstructured mesh, meteorological forcing and initial/boundary conditions, inter-model comparisons were made for tidal elevation, surface waves, sea surface elevation, coastal inundation, currents and volume transport. All three models showed similar accuracy in tidal simulation and consistency in dynamic responses to storm winds in experiments conducted without and with wave-current interaction. The three models also 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 increase the water transport towards the northern peninsula and the southern end and thus enhance flooding in those areas. The testbed inter-model comparisons suggest that major differences in the performance of the three models were caused primarily by 1) the inclusion of wave-current interaction, due to the different discrete algorithms used to solve the three wave models and compute water-current interaction, 2) the criterions used for the wet-dry point treatment of the flooding/drying process simulation, and 3) bottom friction parameterizations.

Below is Figure 12 from the paper:


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