CoSMoS 2.2: Pt. Arena and Russian River

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Building on the initial work in the Bay Area and Outer Coast, CoSMoS 2.2 adds river flows to help users project combined river and coastal flooding along the northern California coast from Bodega Head to Point Arena.

Map shows the outline of a coastal area with a bay inlet and an outline along the coast showing a study area.

The CoSMoS 2.2 study area, which runs from Bodega Head to Point Arena, CA.

Building on the initial work in the Bay Area and Outer Coast, CoSMoS 2.2 adds river flows to the USGS Coastal Storm Modeling System (CoSMoS) to help users project combined river and coastal flooding along the northern California coast from Bodega Head to Point Arena. Currently the model offers flood projections for the Russian River watershed and also includes discharge from the Gualala, Guerneville, and Garcia Rivers. Explore interactive maps showing:

Northern California Regional Collaboration

CoSMoS 2.2 has been integrated and supported by a number of projects throughout the study area. It was initially implemented from Bodega Head to Point Arena as part of NOAA’s Habitat Blueprint project addressing climate change and sea-level rise in the Russian River estuary. NOAA’s efforts in the Russian River Habitat Focus Area address complex water issues associated with threatened and endangered fish populations, weather extremes, and water-resource management throughout the Russian River watershed. The expansion of CoSMoS was critical to:

Computer application screenshot with a settings menu down the left side, results map in the middle, and a legend on the right.

Our Coast, Our Future web viewer showing an example of flood projections for the Russian River.

  1. Create an integrated model and associated data that will provide science-based decision-support tools to aid with coastal planning, habitat restoration, and management of estuary resources
  2. Increase understanding of the connection between coastal and watershed processes
  3. Develop coastal and watershed scenarios representative of conditions relevant to coastal and estuary management

Similarly, CoSMoS modeling was incorporated into the Resilient Lands and Waters Initiative and is highlighted on this story map.

About the CoSMoS Modeling System

CoSMoS provides a suite of 40 scenarios by combining 10 possible values for sea-level rise (0, 0.25 meter [m], 0.5 m, 0.75 m, 1.0 m, 1.25 m, 1.5 m, 1.75 m, 2.0 m, and 5 m) with four possible coastal storm conditions that include: daily conditions; a 1-year storm (or, ~100% chance of occurring in a given year); a 20-year storm (or 5% chance); and a 100-year storm (or 1% chance).

CoSMoS 2.2 presents two additional scenarios of interest for Russian River estuary management: assuming the mouth of the Russian River is either open or closed during a 100-year coastal storm with extreme fluvial discharge (i.e., approaching flood stage in Guerneville). These are viewable on the Our Coast, Our Future (OCOF) web viewer.

Additionally, laser-surveying (lidar) data collected in 2014 within the Russian River watershed was incorporated into the high-resolution Digital Elevation Model (topographic map) used in projecting local storm hazards.

People sit around tables while looking at a screen with a projected image on it, with speaker standing near the screen, talking.

Stakeholder workshop in the Russian River. Photo credit: Ellie Cohen

Viewing the Interactive Maps

All model results are available on the Our Coast, Our Future (OCOF) flood mapper, which provides a user-friendly web tool to review model projections. View the outputs of the additional scenarios by scrolling down to “Regional Projects” in the left-hand side of the OCOF flood mapper (Menu item “5”), then Choose other layers”.

Complementary socioeconomic information is also available through the Hazards Exposure Reporting and Analytics (HERA), developed by Nathan Wood and Jeanne Jones of the USGS Western Geographic Science Center.