Storm Surges

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Storm Surges

Postby Fu Manchu » Wed Jul 18, 2012 8:51 am

Thought to share this info about storm surges. Uni of Queensland has done some research on them.

*soz for the bits not relative, I'll clean it up on the Mac

Source: ... st+News%29

News in Science

Model unlocks big waves' flooding potential
Wednesday, 18 July 2012Anna Salleh

The findings show waves that break will lead to greater flooding (Source: Lucas Jackson /Reuters)
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Map: University of Queensland 4072
More precise predictions of the depth of flooding due to storm surges and tsunamis are on their way, thanks to the work of some Australian researchers.
Civil engineer Associate Professor Tom Baldock, of the University of Queensland, and colleagues, report their findings today in the Proceedings of the Royal Society A.
"The research is really looking to work out how much the flow from waves will overtop a coastal structure or a beach and therefore cause flooding on the backside of that structure," says Baldock.
Authorities overseeing coastal development need scientists to tell them about the risk from the sea so they can plan appropriately.
Baldock says to date, modellers have been able to estimate how high waves will run up a beach or sea wall, but have had more difficulty in estimating how much water will overtop these structures and cause flooding on the leeward side.
"It's the flood depth that is the major hazard," says Baldock.
Variation in predictions
Baldock says predictions of flooding depth from storm surges have varied by a factor of 10 for waves of the same height, but scientists have not understood why.
"We could take 10 waves that would all run up the same distance, but each one of them puts a different volume of water over the beach crest," he says.
So Baldock and colleagues set up a laboratory study to find out more about the underlying physics of waves involved in tsunamis and storm surges.
They found that if the wave didn't break, the lower the maximum height of the beach, the more water went over the top - and the relationship between the height and volume was linear.
But, if the wave broke, this relationship changed to non-linear with flooding being much greater than with the unbroken wave.
This newly discovered aspect of wave physics could help explain the variation previously found.
"We can't progress the science until we understand the fundamentals of why we had so much variation in the data for waves of the same height," says Baldock.
"We now understand the physics driving the overtopping so we can now put that into useful engineering tools to make better predictions."
He says further field work using remote sensing and videos is needed to characterise the range of possible waves which could enable planning for different scenarios.
Tags: storm, physics, storm

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