Dynamic modeling of barrier island response to hurricane storm surge under future sea level rise
Sea level rise (SLR) has the potential to exacerbate the impacts of extreme storm events on the coastal landscape. This study examines the coupled interactions of SLR on storm-driven hydrodynamics and barrier island morphology. A numerical model is used to simulate the hydrodynamic and morphodynamic impacts of two Gulf of Mexico hurricanes under present-day and future sea levels. SLR increased surge heights and caused overwash to occur at more locations and for longer durations. During surge recession, water level gradients resulted in seaward sediment transport. The duration of the seaward-directed water level gradients was altered under SLR; longer durations caused more seaward-directed cross-barrier transport and a larger net loss in the subaerial island volume due to increased sand deposition in the nearshore. Determining how SLR and the method of SLR implementation (static or dynamic) modulate storm-driven morphologic change is important for understanding and managing longer-term coastal evolution.
The model inputs and outputs for this study can be found in Passeri, D.L., Bilskie, M.V., Plant, N.G., Long, J.W., Hagen, S.C., 2018, Dauphin Island Storms and Sea Level Rise Assessment: XBeach Model Inputs and Results: U.S. Geological Survey data release, https://doi.org/10.5066/F7N87930. The authors would like to thank Soupy Dalyander at USGS and the anonymous reviewers for their constructive comments. Any use of trade, firm, or product names is for descriptive purposes only and does not imply endorsement by the U.S. Government.
This effort was funded in part under awards NA10NOS4780146 and NA16NOS4780208 from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) Center for Sponsored Coastal Ocean Research (CSCOR).
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