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Project Type
UTRC Research Initiative
Project Dates
12/01/2011 - 11/30/2013
Principal Investigators
Project Status

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Project Description

Global warming and climate change are reshaping our world in many ways. Recent studies show that global warming will cause the sea level along the northeastern U.S. coast to rise almost twice as fast as global sea levels during this century, putting metro New York City at greater risk for catastrophic events under hurricanes and winter storms. Combined coastal surge flooding and land runoff flooding along coastlines in climate change perspectives is such an event. There is an increasing awareness that the coastal flooding may affect the resilience of the transportation infrastructure and services. However, it is currently difficult for transportation agencies to incorporate information about potential flooding into transportation planning and investment processes. The capability to predict coastal region flooding considering climate change becomes extremely valuable to develop plans reacting foreseeable disasters, which will save lives and make our transportation infrastructure more sustainable. We propose to predict flooding nearby coastal regions considering various scenarios due to climate change, such as sea level rise, precipitation increase, and its impact on transportation network and reaction plans, utilizing available techniques and recently developed tools. In particular, the tasks to be conducted include:

  1. Establishing a hybrid hydrologic and hydrodynamic flood modeling system to predict coastal flooding due to storm surge flooding and inland runoff flooding under projected global warming effects. Research will be made to achieve high resolution and high accuracy desired to resolve streets, traffic roads, and related transportation infrastructures.
  2. Developing with analytical/numerical approaches to evaluate evacuation plans and to estimate minimum evacuation time based on forecasted demand under various levels of flooding conditions. 
  3. Application of the proposed methods and models to a selected region along the Tri-State coastline as a showcase to demonstrate their capabilities in forecasting coastal flooding and impact on transportation systems and optimizing evacuation plans.

The expected deliverables are: 

  1. A showcase with an executable computer code and result movie/animation for a selected flood location at the Tri-State region to predict coastal flooding evolution under climate change circumstances such as sea level rise, heavy rainfall, and tide and its impact on transportation network, and to estimate evacuation related issues.
  2. Reports and refereed journal and conference articles to describe concepts, theories, and schemes developed in this project. 

This proposal addresses coastal flooding and transportation issues due to global warming, its approach is based on the PIs’ expertise and recent developed capabilities, and its team consists of junior and senior faculty and students from multiple areas and schools.

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