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Toward a total water level forecast of the Great Lakes

April 15, 2023

The combined effect of storm surge and large waves is the main driving mechanism that erodes beaches, inundates low-lying areas, leading to millions of dollars in property damage, loss of natural resources, and lives. The U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) aims to expand the real-time total water level (TWL) forecast provided in the Operational Total Water Level and Coastal Change Forecasts (TWL&CC) to the Great Lakes short- (0 – 36 hours) to medium-term (3 – 5 days) coastal-hazard forecasts to inform planners and emergency responders. This study assesses the skill of forecast water levels and wave characteristics required as input to the TWL forecasts. It finds that, while skill generally decreases as forecast period increases, these data are suitable as input to the TWL forecast system. As the TWL predictions depend on the water level and wave forecasts, validation against field observations allow evaluation of their suitability for the Great Lakes. These results have implications on the prediction of water levels and their potential impacts on coastal resiliency in North America.

Publication Year 2023
Title Toward a total water level forecast of the Great Lakes
DOI 10.1142/9789811275135_0039
Authors Erdinc Sogut, Alfredo Aretxabaleta, Andrew Ashton, Walter Barnhardt, Kara S. Doran, Margaret Louise Palmsten
Publication Type Conference Paper
Publication Subtype Conference Paper
Index ID 70242972
Record Source USGS Publications Warehouse
USGS Organization St. Petersburg Coastal and Marine Science Center; Woods Hole Coastal and Marine Science Center