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Modeling and simulation of storm surge on Staten Island to understand inundation mitigation strategies

December 1, 2016

Hurricane Sandy made landfall on October 29, 2012, near Brigantine, New Jersey, and had a transformative impact on Staten Island and the New York Metropolitan area. Of the 43 New York City fatalities, 23 occurred on Staten Island. The borough, with a population of approximately 500,000, experienced some of the most devastating impacts of the storm. Since Hurricane Sandy, protective dunes have been constructed on the southeast shore of Staten Island. ADCIRC+SWAN model simulations run on The City University of New York's Cray XE6M, housed at the College of Staten Island, using updated topographic data show that the coast of Staten Island is still susceptible to tidal surge similar to those generated by Hurricane Sandy. Sandy hindcast simulations of storm surges focusing on Staten Island are in good agreement with observed storm tide measurements. Model results calculated from fine-scaled and coarse-scaled computational grids demonstrate that finer grids better resolve small differences in the topography of critical hydraulic control structures, which affect storm surge inundation levels. The storm surge simulations, based on post-storm topography obtained from high-resolution lidar, provide much-needed information to understand Staten Island's changing vulnerability to storm surge inundation. The results of fine-scale storm surge simulations can be used to inform efforts to improve resiliency to future storms. For example, protective barriers contain planned gaps in the dunes to provide for beach access that may inadvertently increase the vulnerability of the area.

Publication Year 2016
Title Modeling and simulation of storm surge on Staten Island to understand inundation mitigation strategies
DOI 10.2112/SI76-013
Authors Michael E. Kress, Alan I. Benimoff, William J. Fritz, Cindy A. Thatcher, Brian O. Blanton, Eugene Dzedzits
Publication Type Article
Publication Subtype Journal Article
Series Title Journal of Coastal Research
Index ID 70179443
Record Source USGS Publications Warehouse
USGS Organization Eastern Geographic Science Center