Friday, June 28, 2013

OSCAR Student, Amelia Martin, Presented her Undergraduate Research Work at the American Geophysical Union (AGU) Science and Policy Conference

Potential Impacts of Hurricane Flooding in the National Capital Region: What if Hurricane Sandy Made Landfall in the Chesapeake Bay?

The storm surge caused by Hurricane Sandy left approximately $50 billion in damages concentrated on coastlines in New Jersey and New York. The Washington, D.C., region was not as damaged, but the event exposed the risks of flood potential in the National Capital Region (NRC) and previous research already demonstrated that storm surges from Atlantic hurricanes are a major factor that could cause significant flooding in the National Capital Region.

Sea level rises could also increase the probabilities of flooding in the area. Subsequent damage to national monuments, the Federal Triangle, Ronald Reagan International Airport, and the Blue Plains Water Treatment facility would be viewed nationally and globally as a failure to address known hurricane risks.

This undergraduate research project is evaluating hurricane surge flood risks in the National Capital Region combining a state of the art hydrodynamic and wave model (SWAN+ADCIRC) to simulate hurricane flooding; an asymmetric wind model based on southerly shifted tracks of hurricane sandy (National Hurricane Center Best Track Data); and the HAZUS-MH Flood Model (developed by the Federal Emergency Management Agency [FEMA]) to gain a better understanding of possible damages incurred from hurricane storm surges in the NCR.

Amelia's poster presents a synthesis of the literature review concerning flooding in the NCR region, the results of the flooding simulations in the NRC region considering 3 hurricane scenarios using the high resolution FEMA region III numerical mesh, and most importantly, its respective potential damage to critical infrastructure. It is also expected that the poster will foment constructive discussion on the implications of the simulated flooding impacts and risks to policy and decision making in the NCR.

Go here to view the poster and learn more: