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Simulating Fluvial and Coastal Flooding In a Changing Climate

Tuesday, March 7, 2023

11:30 am - 12:30 pm

About the Event:

Extreme fluvial and coastal flooding in low-lying coastal regions are among the most catastrophic hazards to coastal communities. Flooding risk can be exacerbated by the non-linear interaction of high tide, extreme stream flow, storm surge, as well as rising sea level (the result of global warming). Resolving these essential processes requires high-fidelity models that can accurately simulate the riverine hydrology and coastal hydrodynamics in a changing climate. An integrated modeling framework is being developed to simulate the complex flooding processes in a coastal watershed-estuary system as part of the U.S. Department of Energy’s Integrated Coastal Modeling Project ( This presentation provides an overview of the development of high-resolution hydrologic model (DHSVM) and coastal storm surge model (FVCOM) for the Delaware River Basin to understand the key flooding processes and the nonlinear interaction of river flow, tides, and storm surge during hurricane events. Using these frameworks and a Thermodynamic Global Warming Simulations (TGW) dataset, long-term simulations of flooding under historical and future climate conditions are carried out to better understand the influence of projected changing climate on future fluvial and coastal flooding. Ultimately, the coupled DHSVM-FVCOM simulations help assess the spatial distributions, long-term trends, and seasonal variability of fluvial and coastal flooding in the Delaware River Basin.


About the Speaker:

Zhaoqing Yang, Ph.D., is Chief Scientist of ocean modeling in the Coastal Sciences Division of PNNL, and a Distinguished Faculty Fellow at the University of Washington. Yang’s research covers broad areas related to coastal processes and their responses to climate change. His recent research focuses on marine energy, storm surge and coastal flooding, and the impacts of climate change on coastal zones using modeling approaches. He holds a Ph.D. in Physical Oceanography from Virginia Institute of Marine Science, College of William and Mary, USA.

Group in a huddle
Agrawal Engineering Research Building (AERB), Suite 100
Hanadi Rifai
Director of HuRRI
Professor of Civil Engineering