Observing storm surges from space: Hurricane Igor off Newfoundland

Han, Guoqi and Ma, Zhimin and Chen, Dake and de Young, Brad and Chen, Nancy (2012) Observing storm surges from space: Hurricane Igor off Newfoundland. Scientific Reports, 2. ISSN 2045-2322

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Coastal communities are becoming increasingly more vulnerable to storm surges under a changing climate. Tide gauges can be used to monitor alongshore variations of a storm surge, but not cross-shelf features. In this study we combine Jason-2 satellite measurements with tide-gauge data to study the storm surge caused by Hurricane Igor off Newfoundland. Satellite observations reveal a storm surge of 1 m in the early morning of September 22, 2010 (UTC) after the passage of the storm, consistent with the tide-gauge measurements. The post-storm sea level variations at St. John's and Argentia are associated with free equatorward-propagating continental shelf waves (with a phase speed of ~10 m/s and a cross-shelf decaying scale of ~100 km). The study clearly shows the utility of satellite altimetry in observing and understanding storm surges, complementing tide-gauge observations for the analysis of storm surge characteristics and for the validation and improvement of storm surge models

Item Type: Article
URI: http://research.library.mun.ca/id/eprint/2050
Item ID: 2050
Department(s): Memorial University Affiliates > Fisheries and Oceans Canada
Science, Faculty of > Physics and Physical Oceanography
Date: 20 December 2012
Date Type: Publication
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