Active Research Projects

Storm Surge and Sea Level Rise on a Changing Landscape

Project Sponsors: NOAA National Centers for Coastal Ocean Science Ecological Effects of Sea Level Rise (EESLR) Program

PI: Scott C. Hagen, LSU CCE/CCT, Director LSU CCR

Collaborating Partners: Northern Gulf Institute at Mississippi State University

Award Length: 2 years, 2016 - 2017

Project Summary: Hampton Roads, Virginia, is rated second only to New Orleans as the most vulnerable area to relative sea level rise in the United States. Hampton Roads is home to the deepest water harbor on the U.S. East Coast, which hosts a robust shipbuilding and repair industry, a thriving export coal trade and the sixth largest containerized cargo complex in the United States, infrastructure currently at risk under current sea level rise scenarios. To address this issue and advance sea level rise/storm surge modeling, NOAA is participating in the Hampton Roads Sea Level Rise Preparedness and Resiliency Intergovernmental “Pilot.” The Hampton Roads Pilot project is coordinating activities to maximize the effectiveness of Federal, state, local government, university, and private sector activities. In support of the Pilot, NOAA National Ocean Service (NOS) has launched a suite of targeted projects that leverage agency capabilities and investments to meet the needs of stakeholders in the Hampton Roads Region. The purpose of the requested work is to collaborate with NOAA and its partners to transition and apply the Dynamic Surge tool to the Hampton Roads region to quantify the dynamic effects of sea level and projected landscape changes on storm surge. Results from this project will be centered on scenario projections of storm surge depth and extent under a suite of storm conditions, sea level rise rates, landscape changes, and possible management actions.