Integration of coastal inundation modeling from storm tides to individual waves

Ning Li, Volker Roeber, Yoshiki Yamazaki, Troy W. Heitmann, Yefei Bai, Kwok Fai Cheung

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    18 Citations (Scopus)


    Modeling of storm-induced coastal inundation has primarily focused on the surge generated by atmospheric pressure and surface winds with phase-averaged effects of the waves as setup. Through an interoperable model package, we investigate the role of phase-resolving wave processes in simulation of coastal flood hazards. A spectral ocean wave model describes generation and propagation of storm waves from deep to intermediate water, while a non-hydrostatic storm-tide model has the option to couple with a spectral coastal wave model for computation of phase-averaged processes in a near-shore region. The ocean wave and storm-tide models can alternatively provide the wave spectrum and the surface elevation as the boundary and initial conditions for a nested Boussinesq model. Additional surface-gradient terms in the Boussinesq equations maintain the quasi-steady, non-uniform storm tide for modeling of phase-resolving surf and swash-zone processes as well as combined tide, surge, and wave inundation. The two nesting schemes are demonstrated through a case study of Hurricane Iniki, which made landfall on the Hawaiian Island of Kauai in 1992. With input from a parametric hurricane model and global reanalysis and tidal datasets, the two approaches produce comparable significant wave heights and phase-averaged surface elevations in the surf zone. The nesting of the Boussinesq model provides a seamless approach to augment the inundation due to the individual waves in matching the recorded debris line along the coast.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)26-42
    Number of pages17
    JournalOcean Modelling
    Publication statusPublished - 2014 Nov 1


    • Boussinesq model
    • Circulation model
    • Coastal inundation
    • Spectral wave model
    • Storm tides
    • Wave setup

    ASJC Scopus subject areas

    • Computer Science (miscellaneous)
    • Oceanography
    • Geotechnical Engineering and Engineering Geology
    • Atmospheric Science


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