Paper No. 156-27
Presentation Time: 9:00 AM-6:00 PM
STORM SURGE MODEL FOR NEW YORK, CONNECTICUT, AND NORTHERN WATERS OF NEW JERSEY WITH SPECIAL EMPHASIS ON NEW YORK HARBOR
The Parallel Advanced Circulation Model (ADCIRC), developed by Leuttich and Westerlink, is a set of software tools used to model tidal flows and storm surges in oceanic, coastal, and estuarine waters. ADCIRC has been used by researchers at the University of North Carolina and the Renaissance Computing Institute (RENCI) to predict storm surge for the eastern Atlantic region, with particular emphasis on the North Carolina region. In collaboration with RENCI, we used ADCIRC to model the effects of storm surge in one of the most populated areas of the United States: the New York City (NYC) metropolitan area including coastal New Jersey, Long Island, and Connecticut and Long Island Sound. Even though many people do not consider NYC as lying within the “hurricane belt” historical records indicate that large infrequent tropical storms have had direct hits on the city – some with devastating effect. The impact can be accentuated as NYC lies at the apex of a 120º bend in the East Coast, which can focus the effect of storm. We created a fine (minimum 85 m) grid for New York Harbor and surrounding land from the latest USGS and City topographic maps at the detail of 2-foot (0.6m) contour intervals, nautical charts, and details of shipping and subway channels. This detail was integrated into the East Coast RENCI grid. We used the City University of New York High Performance Computing Center’s Cray XE6tm located at the College of Staten Island for these simulations. Our simulation suggests that even relatively minor tropical storms, striking the area with the right track and tidal combination, can produce substantial flood-related damage and destruction to shipping channels, industrial and sewage plants, subways, bridges, and high rise buildings. Hurricane Irene in August 2011 was a wake-up call for regional planning in NYC and provided real data to test our calculations. Hind casting of Hurricane Irene shows our simulation to generate a reasonable approximation of actual events. Our model is being used to predict various potential flooding scenarios based on wind strength, eye-track, and tidal effects.