Document Type



Virginia Institute of Marine Science

Publication Date



Journal Of Coastal Research

First Page


Last Page



Technological progression in light detection and ranging permits the production of highly detailed digital elevation models, which are useful in sub-grid hydrodynamic modeling applications. Sub-grid modeling technology is capable of incorporating these high-resolution lidar-derived elevation measurements into the conventional hydrodynamic modeling framework to resolve detailed topographic features for inclusion in a hydrological transport model for runoff simulations. The horizontal resolution and vertical accuracy of the digital elevation model is augmented via inclusion of these lidar elevation values on a nested 5-m sub-grid within each coarse computational grid cell. This aids in resolving ditches and overland drainage infrastructure at Langley Research Center to calculate runoff induced by the heavy precipitation often accompanied with tropical storm systems, such as Hurricane Irene (2011) and Hurricane Isabel (2003). Temporal comparisons of model results with a NASA tide gauge during Hurricane Irene yielded a good R-2 correlation of 0.97, and root mean squared error statistic of 0.079 m. A rigorous point-to-point comparison between model results and wrack line observations collected at several sites after Hurricane Irene revealed that when soil infiltration was not accounted for in the model, the mean difference between modeled and observed maximum water levels was approximately 10%. This difference was reduced to 2-5% when infiltration was considered in the model formulation, ultimately resulting in the sub-grid model more accurately predicting the horizontal maximum inundation extents within 1.0-8.5 m of flood sites surveyed. Finally, sea-level rise scenarios using Hurricane Isabel as a base case revealed future storm-induced inundation could extend 0.5-2.5 km inland corresponding to increases in mean sea level of 37.5-150 cm.




Chesapeake Bay; Estuary; Events; Isabel

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.