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A methodology for modeling barrier island storm-impact scenarios

February 16, 2017

A methodology for developing a representative set of storm scenarios based on historical wave buoy and tide gauge data for a region at the Chandeleur Islands, Louisiana, was developed by the U.S. Geological Survey. The total water level was calculated for a 10-year period and analyzed against existing topographic data to identify when storm-induced wave action would affect island morphology. These events were categorized on the basis of the threshold of total water level and duration to create a set of storm scenarios that were simulated, using a high-fidelity, process-based, morphologic evolution model, on an idealized digital elevation model of the Chandeleur Islands. The simulated morphological changes resulting from these scenarios provide a range of impacts that can help coastal managers determine resiliency of proposed or existing coastal structures and identify vulnerable areas within those structures.