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Contributions to uncertainty in runup forecasts

April 15, 2023

The U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) provides operational forecasts of total water levels (TWL) and coastal change. Uncertainties around forecast TWL are based on the temporal and spatial range of observed beach slopes near the forecast site. This paper investigates other sources of uncertainty that are not accounted for, focusing on four beaches where the USGS has deployed remote cameras, and on outer Cape Cod, which has diverse bar morphologies. We find that the range of runup indicated by ten formulae is nearly as large as the variations caused by the range of beach slopes. A formula that accounts for bar morphology substantially decreases calculated runup, and might improve forecasts. Errors in the timing of forecast storm landfall generate uncertainties in TWL where tides are large. Analyses suggest that the effect of off-normal incident waves is relatively small. These results suggest opportunities for improving the TWL forecasts.

Publication Year 2023
Title Contributions to uncertainty in runup forecasts
DOI 10.1142/9789811275135_0037
Authors Christopher R. Sherwood, Alfredo Aretxabaleta, Peter A. Traykovski, Jin-Si R. Over, David S. Foster, Jennifer L. Miselis, Tim Nelson, Erdinc Sogut
Publication Type Conference Paper
Publication Subtype Conference Paper
Index ID 70242969
Record Source USGS Publications Warehouse
USGS Organization Woods Hole Coastal and Marine Science Center