2022 CSDMS meeting-105


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Coupled Modeling of Storm Surge and Fluvial Flooding of Maryland Coastal Bays

Nishat Farzana Nimni, (She/Her/Hers),University of Maryland Eastern Shore Princess Anne Maryland, United States. nnimni@umes.edu
Meng Xia, University of Maryland Eastern Shore Princess Anne Maryland, United States.

The Atlantic basin has experienced heightened storm activity in recent decades setting the perfect condition for both fluvial flooding and coastal storm surges and consequently disrupting the hydrological system and the environmental balance. The Maryland Coastal Bays (MCBs), a shallow interconnected lagoon system with two inlets, is heavily influenced by tides and currents and also sensitive to climate change and storm surge. Despite several existing studies on the Atlantic winter storms impact on the hydrodynamics within the MCBs, a critical knowledge gap relating the interaction between coastal and inland processes still exists. The purpose of this study is to focus on the application of a coupled hydrologic-hydrodynamic model to a compound flooding study to understand the interrelation between simultaneous occurrence of fluvial flooding and storm surges around the St Martin River and the MCBs areas respectively. In this study, CE-QUAL-W2 is used to simulate the hydrological processes while the hydrodynamic processes in the MCBs and adjacent coastal ocean are simulated using 3-D unstructured-grid based Finite Volume Community Ocean Model (FVCOM). The outputs from CE-QUAL-W2 are introduced into adjacent FVCOM grid where the former’s downstream-most segment meets the latter’s land boundary. Comparison of water level elevations computed with and without inflows from CE-QUAL-W2 reveals the extent to which the MCBs are influenced by river input during extreme events and vice versa. A series of sensitivity tests in different scenarios and subsequent comparison with baseline will provide some insight on how effective model results are at simulating such scenario in hydrological and hydrodynamic regimes around the MCBs. The finding from this study on the MCBs is hoped to provide insights into these shallow bays’ response to different dynamics in a holistic manner and to identify probabilities and consequences of what the future may hold.