Science and Products
The Coastal Storm Modeling System (CoSMoS) makes detailed predictions of storm-induced coastal flooding, erosion, and cliff failures over large geographic scales. CoSMoS was developed for hindcast studies, operational applications and future climate scenarios to provide emergency responders and coastal planners with critical storm-hazards information that can be used to increase public safety...
The impacts of climate change and sea-level rise around the Pacific and Arctic Oceans can vary tremendously. Thus far the vast majority of national and international impact assessments and models of coastal climate change have focused on low-relief coastlines that are not near seismically active zones. Furthermore, the degree to which extreme waves and wind will add further stress to coastal...
The Arctic region is warming faster than anywhere else in the nation. Understanding the rates and causes of coastal change in Alaska is needed to identify and mitigate hazards that might affect people and animals that call Alaska home.
The west coast of the United States is extremely complex and changeable because of tectonic activity, mountain building, and land subsidence. These active environments pose a major challenge for accurately assessing climate change impacts, since models were historically developed for more passive sandy coasts.
Assessing and communicating the impacts of climate change on the Southern California coast
Over the course of this and the next century, the combination of rising sea levels, severe storms, and coastal erosion will threaten the sustainability of coastal communities, development, and ecosystems as we currently know them. To clearly identify coastal vulnerabilities and develop appropriate adaptation strategies for projected increased...Erikson, Li; Barnard, Patrick L.; O'Neill, Andrea; Limber, Patrick; Vitousek, Sean; Finzi Hart, Juliette; Hayden, Maya; Jones, Jeanne M.; Wood, Nathan J.; Fitzgibbon, Michael; Foxgrover, Amy C.; Lovering, Jessica
Projected 21st century coastal flooding in the Southern California Bight. Part 2: Tools for assessing climate change-driven coastal hazards and socio-economic impacts
This paper is the second of two that describes the Coastal Storm Modeling System (CoSMoS) approach for quantifying physical hazards and socio-economic hazard exposure in coastal zones affected by sea-level rise and changing coastal storms. The modelling approach, presented in Part 1, downscales atmospheric global-scale projections to local scale...Erikson, Li; Barnard, Patrick L.; O'Neill, Andrea; Wood, Nathan J.; Jones, Jeanne M.; Finzi Hart, Juliette; Vitousek, Sean; Limber, Patrick; Hayden, Maya; Fitzgibbon, Michael; Lovering, Jessica; Foxgrover, Amy C.
A model ensemble for projecting multi‐decadal coastal cliff retreat during the 21st century
Sea cliff retreat rates are expected to accelerate with rising sea levels during the 21st century. Here we develop an approach for a multi‐model ensemble that efficiently projects time‐averaged sea cliff retreat over multi‐decadal time scales and large (>50 km) spatial scales. The ensemble consists of five simple 1‐D models adapted from the...Limber, Patrick; Barnard, Patrick L.; Vitousek, Sean; Erikson, Li
Projected 21st century coastal flooding in the Southern California Bight. Part 1: Development of the third generation CoSMoS model
Due to the effects of climate change over the course of the next century, the combination of rising sea levels, severe storms, and coastal change will threaten the sustainability of coastal communities, development, and ecosystems as we know them today. To clearly identify coastal vulnerabilities and develop appropriate adaptation strategies due...O'Neill, Andrea; Erikson, Li; Barnard, Patrick L.; Limber, Patrick; Vitousek, Sean; Warrick, Jonathan; Foxgrover, Amy C.; Lovering, Jessica
Estimating fluvial discharges coincident with 21st century coastal storms modeled with CoSMoS
On the open coast, flooding is largely driven by tides, storm surge, waves, and in areas near coastal inlets, the magnitude and co-occurrence of high fluvial discharges. Statistical methods are typically used to estimate the individual probability of coastal storm and fluvial discharge occurrences for use in sophisticated flood hazard models. A...Erikson, Li; O'Neill, Andrea; Barnard, Patrick L.
The influence of sea level rise on the regional interdependence of coastal infrastructure
Sea level rise (SLR) is placing both immediate and long‐term pressures on coastal communities to take protective actions. Projects in the United States, and in many locations throughout the world, generally involve local jurisdictions raising the elevation of shoreline protection elements, with limited or no analysis of the feedback between...Wang, Ruo-Quian; Stacey, Mark T.; Herdman, Liv; Barnard, Patrick L.; Erikson, Li
Clusters of community exposure to coastal flooding hazards based on storm and sea level rise scenarios—implications for adaptation networks in the San Francisco Bay region
Sea level is projected to rise over the coming decades, further increasing the extent of flooding hazards in coastal communities. Efforts to address potential impacts from climate-driven coastal hazards have called for collaboration among communities to strengthen the application of best practices. However, communities currently lack practical...Hummel, Michelle; Wood, Nathan J.; Schweikert, Amy; Stacey, Mark T.; Jones, Jeanne; Barnard, Patrick L.; Erikson, Li H.
Interactions of estuarine shoreline infrastructure with multiscale sea level variability
Sea level rise increases the risk of storms and other short‐term water‐rise events, because it sets a higher water level such that coastal surges become more likely to overtop protections and cause floods. To protect coastal communities, it is necessary to understand the interaction among multiday and tidal sea level variabilities, coastal...Wang, Ruo-Quian; Herdman, Liv; Erikson, Li; Barnard, Patrick L.; Hummel, Michelle; Stacey, Mark T.
Controls of multi-modal wave conditions in a complex coastal setting
Coastal hazards emerge from the combined effect of wave conditions and sea level anomalies associated with storms or low-frequency atmosphere-ocean oscillations. Rigorous characterization of wave climate is limited by the availability of spectral wave observations, the computational cost of dynamical simulations, and the ability to link wave-...Hegermiller, Christie; Rueda, Ana C.; Erikson, Li H.; Barnard, Patrick L.; Antolinez, J.A.A.; Mendez, Fernando J.
Climate change-driven cliff and beach evolution at decadal to centennial time scales
Here we develop a computationally efficient method that evolves cross-shore profiles of sand beaches with or without cliffs along natural and urban coastal environments and across expansive geographic areas at decadal to centennial time-scales driven by 21st century climate change projections. The model requires projected sea level rise rates,...Erikson, Li; O'Neill, Andrea; Barnard, Patrick L.; Vitousek, Sean; Limber, Patrick
Downscaling wind and wavefields for 21st century coastal flood hazard projections in a region of complex terrain
While global climate models (GCMs) provide useful projections of near-surface wind vectors into the 21st century, resolution is not sufficient enough for use in regional wave modeling. Statistically downscaled GCM projections from Multivariate Adaptive Constructed Analogues provide daily averaged near-surface winds at an appropriate spatial...O'Neill, Andrea; Erikson, Li; Barnard, Patrick L.
Doubling of coastal flooding frequency within decades due to sea-level rise
Global climate change drives sea-level rise, increasing the frequency of coastal flooding. In most coastal regions, the amount of sea-level rise occurring over years to decades is significantly smaller than normal ocean-level fluctuations caused by tides, waves, and storm surge. However, even gradual sea-level rise can rapidly increase the...Vitousek, Sean; Barnard, Patrick L.; Fletcher, Charles H.; Frazer, Neil; Erikson, Li; Storlazzi, Curt D.
In July 2018, three USGS Pacific Coastal and Marine Science Center researchers installed instruments and hosted a community outreach event.