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A framework for modeling scenario-based barrier island storm impacts

May 22, 2018

Methods for investigating the vulnerability of existing or proposed coastal features to storm impacts often rely on simplified parametric models or one-dimensional process-based modeling studies that focus on changes to a profile across a dune or barrier island. These simple studies tend to neglect the impacts to curvilinear or alongshore varying island planforms, influence of non-uniform nearshore hydrodynamics and sediment transport, irregular morphology of the offshore bathymetry, and impacts from low magnitude wave events (e.g. cold fronts). Presented here is a framework for simulating regionally specific, low and high magnitude scenario-based storm impacts to assess the alongshore variable vulnerabilities of a coastal feature. Storm scenarios based on historic hydrodynamic conditions were derived and simulated using the process-based morphologic evolution model XBeach. Model results show that the scenarios predicted similar patterns of erosion and overwash when compared to observed qualitative morphologic changes from recent storm events that were not included in the dataset used to build the scenarios. The framework model simulations were capable of predicting specific areas of vulnerability in the existing feature and the results illustrate how this storm vulnerability simulation framework could be used as a tool to help inform the decision-making process for scientists, engineers, and stakeholders involved in coastal zone management or restoration projects.

Publication Year 2018
Title A framework for modeling scenario-based barrier island storm impacts
DOI 10.1016/j.coastaleng.2018.04.012
Authors Rangley C. Mickey, Joseph W. Long, P. Soupy Dalyander, Nathaniel G. Plant, David M. Thompson
Publication Type Article
Publication Subtype Journal Article
Series Title Coastal Engineering
Index ID 70197203
Record Source USGS Publications Warehouse
USGS Organization St. Petersburg Coastal and Marine Science Center