Publication Abstracts

Orton et al. 2018

Orton, P.M., F.R. Conticello, F. Cioffi, T.M. Hall, N. Georgas, U. Lall, A.F. Blumberg, and K. MacManus, 2018: Flood hazard assessment from storm tides, rain and sea level rise for a tidal river-estuary. Nat. Hazards, early on-line, doi:10.1007/s11069-018-3251-x.

Cities and towns along the tidal Hudson River are highly vulnerable to flooding through the combination of storm tides and high streamflows, compounded by sea level rise. Here a three-dimensional hydrodynamic model, validated by comparing peak water levels for 76 historical storms, is applied in a probabilistic flood hazard assessment. In simulations, the model merges streamflows and storm tides from tropical cyclones (TCs), offshore extratropical cyclones (ETCs) and inland "wet extratropical" cyclones (WETCs). The climatology of possible ETC and WETC storm events is represented by historical events (1931-2013), and simulations include gauged streamflows and inferred ungauged streamflows (based on watershed area) for the Hudson River and its tributaries. The TC climatology is created using a stochastic statistical model to represent a wider range of storms than is contained in the historical record. TC streamflow hydrographs are simulated for tributaries spaced along the Hudson, modeled as a function of TC attributes (storm track, sea surface temperature, maximum wind speed) using a statistical Bayesian approach. Results show WETCs are important to flood risk in the upper tidal river (e.g., Albany, New York), ETCs are important in the estuary (e.g., New York City) and lower tidal river, and TCs are important at all locations due to their potential for both high surge and extreme rainfall. The raising of floods by sea level rise is shown to be reduced by ∼30-60% at Albany due to the dominance of streamflow for flood risk. This can be explained with simple channel flow dynamics, in which increased depth throughout the river reduces frictional resistance, thereby reducing the water level slope and the upriver water level.

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BibTeX Citation

  author={Orton, P. M. and Conticello, F. R. and Cioffi, F. and Hall, T. M. and Georgas, N. and Lall, U. and Blumberg, A. F. and MacManus, K.},
  title={Flood hazard assessment from storm tides, rain and sea level rise for a tidal river-estuary},
  journal={Nat. Hazards},

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RIS Citation

ID  - or07000h
AU  - Orton, P. M.
AU  - Conticello, F. R.
AU  - Cioffi, F.
AU  - Hall, T. M.
AU  - Georgas, N.
AU  - Lall, U.
AU  - Blumberg, A. F.
AU  - MacManus, K.
PY  - 2018
TI  - Flood hazard assessment from storm tides, rain and sea level rise for a tidal river-estuary
JA  - Nat. Hazards
DO  - 10.1007/s11069-018-3251-x
ER  -

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