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Toward a national coastal hazard forecast of total water levels

June 1, 2019

Storm surge and large waves combine to erode beaches, cause marsh and coral decay, and inundate low-elevation areas, resulting in hazards to coastal communities and loss of natural resources. The USGS, in collaboration with NOAA, is developing a real-time system to provide ∼ 6-day forecasts of total water levels (TWLs) combining tides, storm surge, and wave runup. TWL is compared with dune elevations along sandy coastlines to obtain regional flood and coastal hazard forecasts. The predictions are available online ( and provide intuitive representations of regional coastal risk. Current efforts include 1) assessing skill by comparing forecasts with observations along sandy coastlines and 2) developing methods more appropriate for non-sandy coastlines (e.g., rocky, reef, marsh, cliff, and built shorelines). The vision of this work is to provide a tool for short- to medium-term coastal hazard forecasts to inform planners and emergency responders along nearly the entire US coastline.

Publication Year 2019
Title Toward a national coastal hazard forecast of total water levels
DOI 10.1142/9789811204487_0120
Authors Alfredo Aretxabaleta, Kara S. Doran, Joseph W. Long, Li H. Erikson
Publication Type Conference Paper
Publication Subtype Conference Paper
Index ID 70240966
Record Source USGS Publications Warehouse
USGS Organization Pacific Coastal and Marine Science Center; St. Petersburg Coastal and Marine Science Center; Woods Hole Coastal and Marine Science Center