Skip to main content
U.S. flag

An official website of the United States government

Salish Sea Hydrodynamic Model

February 12, 2024

A two-dimensional hydrodynamic model of the Salish Sea was constructed using the Delft3D Flexible Mesh Suite (Deltares, 2020) to simulate still water levels in the past and future and evaluate extreme recurrence water level events accounting for sea level rise and climate change. Three sets of model simulations were performed following Grossman and others (2023). The first simulated the water years (October 1 – September 30) of 2017 to 2020 to validate the model and assess model error. The second simulation used the validated model to evaluate the period 1985-2015, the utility of a computed “remote sea level anomaly predictor” important to understanding of extreme water levels inside the Salish Sea, and to quantify recurrence water levels over decadal time scales accounting for climate variability. The third set of simulations used the validated model and remote sea level anomaly predictor to evaluate extreme water level recurrence over the period 2016-2099 accounting for all plausible sea level scenarios and projected climate change based on the dynamically downscaled Weather Research and Forecasting (WRF) Coupled Model Intercomparison Project Phase 5 (CMIP5) Geophysical Fluid Dynamics Laboratory (GFDL) global climate model outputs (Mass and others, 2022). Model simulation outputs in the form of time-series water levels extracted along the 5m isobath and at measurement stations and model setup files are provided.
Deltares, 2000, D-Flow Flexible Mesh User Manual (version 0.9.1),

Grossman, E.E., Tehranirad, B., Nederhoff, C.M., Crosby, S.C., Stevens, A.W., Van Arendonk, N.R., Nowacki, D.J., Erikson, L.H., Barnard, P.L., 2023, Modeling Extreme Water Levels in the Salish Sea: The Importance of Including Remote Sea Level Anomalies for Application in Hydrodynamic Simulations: Water 15, 4167.

Mass, C.F., Salathe Jr, E.P., Steed, R., Baars, J., 2022. The mesoscale response to global warming over the pacific northwest evaluated using a regional climate model ensemble: Journal of Climate 35, 2035–2053.

Publication Year 2024
Title Salish Sea Hydrodynamic Model
DOI 10.5066/P946SC3L
Authors Eric Grossman, Babak Tehranirad, Andrew Stevens, Nathan R Vanarendonk, Sean C Crosby, Kees Nederhoff
Product Type Data Release
Record Source USGS Digital Object Identifier Catalog
USGS Organization Pacific Coastal and Marine Science Center