Joint CSDMS-SEN annual meeting 2016: Capturing Climate Change

Coastal Ecosystem Integrated Compartment Model (ICM): Modeling Framework

Ehab Mesehle

The Water Institute of the Gulf, United States
Eric White The Water Institute of the Gulf United States

The Integrated Compartment Model (ICM) was developed as part of the 2017 Coastal Master Plan modeling effort. It is a comprehensive and numerical hydrodynamic model coupled to various geophysical process models. Simplifying assumptions related to some of the flow dynamics are applied to increase the computational efficiency of the model. The model can be used to provide insights about coastal ecosystems and evaluate restoration strategies. It builds on existing tools where possible and incorporates newly developed tools where necessary. It can perform decadal simulations (~ 50 years) across the entire Louisiana coast. It includes several improvements over the approach used to support the 2012 Master Plan, such as: additional processes in the hydrology, vegetation, wetland and barrier island morphology subroutines, increased spatial resolution, and integration of previously disparate models into a single modeling framework. The ICM includes habitat suitability indices (HSIs) to predict broad spatial patterns of habitat change, and it provides an additional integration to a dynamic fish and shellfish community model which quantitatively predicts potential changes in important fishery resources. It can be used to estimate the individual and cumulative effects of restoration and protection projects on the landscape, including a general estimate of water levels associated with flooding. The ICM is also used to examine possible impacts of climate change and future environmental scenarios (e.g. precipitation, Eustatic sea level rise, subsidence, tropical storms, etc.) on the landscape and on the effectiveness of restoration projects. The ICM code is publically accessible, and coastal restoration and protection groups interested in planning-level modeling are encouraged to explore its utility as a computationally efficient tool to examine ecosystem response to future physical or ecological changes, including the implementation of restoration and protection strategies.
The following website contains the technical memos of the 2017 Coastal Master Plan modeling effort:

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Of interest for:
  • Coastal Working Group
  • Human Dimensions Focus Research Group