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Modeling total water level and coastal change at Pea Island, North Carolina, USA

April 15, 2023

The DUring Nearshore Event eXperiment (DUNEX) was carried out on Pea Island, North Carolina, USA between September-October 2021. We use a coupled numerical model (Windsurf) to hindcast the evolution of the DUNEX transect and produce a time series of hourly water levels at the shoreline from the model output. In addition to assessing the ability of Windsurf to reproduce TWL, we use model output paired with an ensemble of empirical models to assess how TWL forecasts can be improved by incorporating dynamic morphology. The morphological hindcast achieved an RMSE of 0.10 m and a BSS of 0.47, while the total water level (TWL) time series from the model correlates with the U.S. Geological Survey forecast (r2 = 0.61) for the study period but with a 0.47 m bias that is primarily due to the much steeper beach slope used to produce the forecast compared to that surveyed at the start of the study period. We find that using dynamic morphology provides a small but statistically significant (α = 0.05) improvement in predicting TWL versus applying the pre-storm beach slope to the whole time series.

Publication Year 2023
Title Modeling total water level and coastal change at Pea Island, North Carolina, USA
DOI 10.1142/9789811275135_0065
Authors Michael Christopher Itzkin, Margaret Louise Palmsten, Mark L. Buckley, Christopher R. Sherwood, Jenna A. Brown, Jin-Si R. Over, Peter A. Traykovski
Publication Type Conference Paper
Publication Subtype Conference Paper
Index ID 70238893
Record Source USGS Publications Warehouse
USGS Organization St. Petersburg Coastal and Marine Science Center; Woods Hole Coastal and Marine Science Center