Modeling tides and storm surges

by Dr Cheryl Ann Blain

Oceanography Division, Naval Research Laboratory


(1) What are tides and storm surge?

  • Driving forces: tides, wind
  • Modifying processes: friction, mixing
  • Governing equations.

(2) Atmospheric model formulations

  • Numerical methods
  • Physical parameterizations

(3) Winds that drive surges

  • Extratropical cyclones, mesoscale jets, tropical cyclones

(4) Numerical representation of tides and storm surge

  • ADCIRC model
  • GWCE equations (what and why)
  • Projections for spherical coordinates
  • Numerical discretization (time and space)
  • Solution strategies (implications for parallelization)

(5) Finite element mesh generation

  • Bathymetry/topography/shoreline
  • Approaches and strategies (resolution, minimization of error; Tools (MeshGUI, SMS, TriGrid)
  • Hands-on activity: mesh generation with MeshGUI.

(6)  Model configuration

  • Land cover/use; tides (nodal factors, boundary conditions, global databases)
  • Wind models (symmetric vortex, asymmetric vortex, met. models)
  • River treatment
  • Other parameters (time step, friction, tauo, wetting/drying, etc.)
  • Computational considerations (resolution, processors, time to solution)

(5)  Case studies

  • Tides
  • Hurricane Katrina
  • Hurricane Irene
  • Bay St. Louis: wave-current interaction?
  • Hands-on activity: to configure a simple tide-surge application using ADCIRC