A Wave, Surge and Inundation Modeling Testbed for Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands: Year 1 progress

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Tuesday, 6 January 2015: 3:45 PM
130 (Phoenix Convention Center - West and North Buildings)
Andre J. van der Westhuysen, NOAA/NWS/NCEP, College Park, MD; and C. Anselmi, R. Calzada, J. C. Feyen, C. Forbes, J. Gonzalez, A. Mercado, J. Morell, J. Rhome, E. Rodriguez, J. Smith, J. Veeramony, and J. Westerink
Manuscript (381.0 kB)

The modeling of hazardous storm surge inundation events in U.S. island regions in the Caribbean and Pacific poses many challenges. Importantly, compared to mild-sloped sandy beaches, waves play a more significant role in driving the storm surge in these steep, reef-fringed environments. As a result, NOAA/NWS currently lacks an operational inundation prediction system in these regions. Since Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands are frequented by hurricanes and are well-instrumented, it is an ideal region for model inter-comparison. This project, which forms part of U.S. IOOS's Coastal and Ocean Modeling Testbed, aims to inter-compare a number of coupled wave and surge models for a set of hindcast field cases in this region to arrive at a selection of models or techniques that would be suitable for operational implementation at NOAA's National Hurricane Center and tropical island Weather Forecast Offices. This paper reviews the first year of this project, including the selection of field cases, comprising Hurricane Georges (1998), Hurricane Isaac (2012), Superstorm Sandy (2012) and two nearshore field campaigns, a description of the featured coupled wave-surge models ADCIRC-SWAN, ADCIRC-WAVEWATCH III, SLOSH-SWAN, Delft3D-SWAN and FUNWAVE, and initial model results. These results include the developed computational meshes for each model, the validation of tidal simulations in the region, and initial inter-comparison of wave and surge results for the selected field cases.