Fluid dynamics, the study of fluids in motion, lies at the heart of most questions that humans ask of the ocean.  Increasing numbers of people are moving to its coastlines, yet the added stress we put on the ocean can overwhelm its benefits.  Understanding problems such as storm surges, climate change, and pollutant discharges requires a detailed knowledge of ocean, estuary, and atmosphere transport processes.

Based at Stevens Institute of Technology, centrally located in a metro region with 22 million people mostly living on islands like Manhattan, researchers in the Coastal Urban Resilience Engineering and Science (CURES) lab study estuary and coastal ocean physics, coastal storms, storm surges, sea level rise, urban flood adaptation and probabilistic forecasting and risk assessment.  We apply tools of statistical analysis and computational ocean modeling to advance scientific knowledge and we interact with local communities and government to improve our region’s resilience against coastal hazards.


March 2023: Two papers just out on storm surge barriers – one on closure effects on an estuary from Ziyu Chen’s dissertation, the other a community call for more research on estuary effects.

January 2023: Congrats to former post-doc Fernando Pareja-Roman on his publication demonstrating how urbanization of a lagoon can lead to amplificaton of tides and increases in coastal high-tide flooding.

PEER-REVIEWED PUBLICATIONS (ResearchGate page) (Google Scholar page)

Orton, P. M., Ralston, D., van Prooijen, B., Secor, D., Ganju, N. K., Chen, Z., Fernald, S., Brooks, B. and Marcell, K., 2023. Increased utilization of storm surge barriers: A research agenda on estuary effects. Earth’s Future. doi.10.1029/2022EF002991. open access.

Chen, Z., & Orton, P. M., 2023. Effects of Storm Surge Barrier Closures on Estuary Saltwater Intrusion and Stratification. Water Resources Research, e2022WR032317, doi: 10.1029/2022WR032317.  web | temporary free access

Pareja-Roman, L. F.Orton, P. M., & Talke, S. A., 2023Effect of estuary urbanization on tidal dynamics and high tide flooding in a coastal lagoonJournal of Geophysical Research: Oceans128, e2022JC018777, doi:10.1029/2022JC018777.  web

Ayyad, M., P. M. Orton, H. E. Safty, Z. Chen, and M. R. Hajj, 2022. Ensemble Forecast for Storm Tide and Resurgence from Tropical Cyclone Isaias, Weather and Climate Extremes, doi:10.1016/j.wace.2022.100504. web

De Leo, F., Talke, S.A., Orton, P.M., Wahl, T., 2022. The effect of harbor developments on future high‐tide flooding in Miami, Florida, Journal of Geophysical Research, doi:10.1029/2022JC018496.  web

Rodríguez Enríquez, A., Wahl, T., Baranes, H., Talke, S. A., Orton, P. M., Booth, J. F., & Haigh, I. D., 2022. Predictable changes in extreme sea levels and coastal flood risk due to nodal and perigean astronomical tidal cycles. Journal of Geophysical Research, 127.  web

Palinkas, C. M., Orton, P., Hummel, M. A., Nardin, W., Sutton-Grier, A. E., Harris, L., et al., 2022. Innovations in Coastline Management With Natural and Nature-Based Features (NNBF): Lessons Learned From Three Case Studies. Frontiers in Built Environment, 8. Review.  open access

de Ruig, L. T., Haer, T., de Moel, H., Orton, P. M., Botzen, W. J. W., & Aerts, J. C. J. H., 2022. An agent-based model for evaluating reforms of the National Flood Insurance Program: A benchmarked model applied to Jamaica Bay, NYC. Risk Analysis, 00, 1-18.  web

Zhang, F. and Orton, P. M., 2022. Importance of Neighborhood Aspect Ratio and Storm Climate to Adaptation Efforts to Reduce Coastal Flood Mortality. Frontiers in Built Environment, 7. Original Research.  open access

Strauss, B., P. Orton, K. Bittermann, M. K. Buchanan, R. E. Kopp, S. Kulp, C. Massey, H. de Moel, and S. Vinogradov, 2021. Economic Damages from Hurricane Sandy Attributable to Sea Level Rise Caused by Anthropogenic Climate Change, Nature Communications, 12(2720), doi:10.1038/s41467-021-22838-1.  open access

Li, S., T. Wahl, S. A. Talke, D. A. Jay, P. M. Orton, X. Liang, G. Wang, and L. Liu, 2021. Evolving tides aggravate nuisance flooding along the U.S. coastline, Science Advances, 7(10), eabe2412, doi:10.1126/sciadv.abe2412.  open access

Miller, L. A., and P. M. Orton, 2021. Achieving Negative Emissions through the Ocean Sequestration of Vegetation Biomass as Black Pellets, Climatic Change, 167(3): 1-23.  open access

Chen, Z., P. M. Orton, and T. Wahl, 2020. Storm Surge Barrier Protection in an Era of Accelerating Sea Level Rise: Quantifying Closure Frequency, Duration and Trapped River Flooding, Journal of Marine Science and Engineering, 8(9), 725, doi:10.3390/jmse8090725.  open access

Orton, P. M., E. W. Sanderson, S. A. Talke, M. Giampieri, and K. MacManus, 2020. Storm tide amplification and habitat changes due to urbanization of a lagoonal estuary, Natural Hazards and Earth System Science, 20(9), 2415-2432, doi:10.5194/nhess-20-2415-2020. open access

Zhang, F., P. M. Orton, M. Madajewicz, S. C. K. Jagupilla, and R. Bakhtyar, 2020. Mortality during Hurricane Sandy: The effects of waterfront flood protection on Staten Island, New York, Natural Hazards, doi:10.1007/s11069-020-03959-0.  open access

Gornitz, V., M. Oppenheimer, R. Kopp, R. Horton, D. Bader, P. Orton, and C. Rosenzweig, 2020. Enhancing New York City’s Resilience to Sea Level Rise and Increased Coastal Flooding, Urban Climate, 33, 100654, doi:10.1016/j.uclim.2020.100654. web

Orton, P. M., F. R. Conticello, F. Cioffi, T. M. Hall, N. Georgas, U. Lall, A. F. Blumberg, and K. MacManus, 2020. Flood hazard assessment from storm tides, rain and sea level rise for a tidal river estuary, Natural Hazards, 1-29, doi:10.1007/s11069-018-3251-x.  web | PDF.

Gurumurthy, P., P. M. Orton, S. A. Talke, N. Georgas, and J. F. Booth, 2019. Mechanics and Historical Evolution of Sea Level Blowouts in New York Harbor, Journal of Marine Science and Engineering, 7(5), 160, doi:  open access

Orton, P., N. Lin, V. Gornitz, B. Colle, J. Booth, K. Feng, M. Buchanan, and M. Oppenheimer, 2019. New York City Panel on Climate Change 2019 Report Chapter 4: Coastal Flooding, Annals of the New York Academy of Science, 1439, 95-114, doi:10.1111/nyas.14011.  open access

Patrick, L., W. Solecki, V. Gornitz, P. Orton, and A. Blumberg, 2019. New York City Panel on Climate Change 2019 Report Chapter 5: Mapping Climate Risk, Annals of the New York Academy of Science, 1439, 115-125, doi:10.1111/nyas.14015.  open access

Gornitz, V., M. Oppenheimer, R. Kopp, P. Orton, M. Buchanan, N. Lin, R. Horton, and D. Bader, 2019. New York City Panel on Climate Change Chapter 3: Sea Level Rise, Annals of the New York Academy of Science, 1439, 71-94, doi:10.1111/nyas.14006.  open access

Bakhtyar, R., P. M. Orton, R. Marsooli, and J. K. Miller, 2018. Rapid wave modeling of severe historical extratropical cyclones off the Northeastern United States, Ocean Engineering, 159, 315–332, doi:10.1016/j.oceaneng.2018.04.037.  web.

Marsooli, R., P. M. Orton, J. Fitzpatrick, and H. Smith, 2018. Residence time of a highly urbanized estuary: Jamiaca Bay, New York, Journal of Marine Science and Engineering, 6(44), doi:10.3390/jmse6020044.  open access

Hu, K., Chen, Q., Wang, H., Hartig, E. K., & Orton, P. M., 2018. Numerical modeling of salt marsh morphological change induced by Hurricane Sandy. Coastal Engin., 132: 63–81.  web.

Marsooli, R., P.M. Orton, and G. Mellor, 2017. Modeling wave attenuation by salt marshes in Jamaica Bay, New York, using a new rapid wave model, J. Geophys. Res., 122, doi:10.1002/2016JC012546.  PDF web

Marsooli, R., P. M. Orton, G. Mellor, N. Georgas, and A. F. Blumberg, 2017. A Coupled Circulation-Wave Model for Numerical Simulation of Storm Tides and Waves, J. Atmos. Oceanic Technol., doi:10.1175/JTECH-D-17-0005.1.  open access

Kemp, A. C., T. D. Hill, C. H. Vane, N. Cahill, P. M. Orton, S. A. Talke, A. C. Parnell, K. Sanborn, and E. K. Hartig, 2017. Relative sea-level trends in New York City during the past 1500 years, The Holocene, 0959683616683263. PDFweb

Close, S. L., F. Montalto, P. Orton, A. Antoine, D. Peters, H. Jones, A. Parris, and A. Blumberg, 2017. Achieving sustainability goals for urban coasts in the US Northeast: research needs and challenges, Local Environment, 22(4), 508-522, doi:10.1080/13549839.2016.1233526. web

Orton, P. M., Hall, T. M., Talke, S., Blumberg, A. F., Georgas, N., & Vinogradov, S., 2016. A Validated Tropical-Extratropical Flood Hazard Assessment for New York Harbor. J. Geophys. Res., 121. doi: 10.1002/ 2016JC011679.  open access

Marsooli, R., P. M. Orton, N. Georgas, and A. F. Blumberg, 2016. Three-Dimensional Hydrodynamic Modeling of Coastal Flood Mitigation by Wetlands, Coast. Eng., 111, 83-94. open access

Georgas, N., L. Yin, Y. Jiang, Y. Wang, P. Howell, V. Saba, J. Schulte, P. Orton, and B. Wen, 2016, An Open-Access, Multi-Decadal, Three-Dimensional, Hydrodynamic Hindcast Dataset for the Long Island Sound and New York/New Jersey Harbor Estuaries, Journal of Marine Science and Engineering, 4(48), DOI: 10.3390/jmse4030048. web

Brandon, C.M., J.D. Woodruff, P.M. Orton and J.P. Donnelly, 2016. Evidence for Elevated Coastal Vulnerability Following Large-Scale Historical Oyster Bed Harvesting. Earth Surface Processes and Landforms, 2016; DOI: 10.1002/esp.3931. web

Orton, P. M., S. A. Talke, D. A. Jay, L. Yin, A. F. Blumberg, N. Georgas, H. Zhao, H. J. Roberts, and K. MacManus, 2015. Channel Shallowing as Mitigation of Coastal Flooding, Journal of Marine Science and Engineering, 3(3), 654-673, DOI: 10.3390/jmse3030654. open access

Blumberg, A., N. Georgas, L. Yin, T. Herrington, and P. Orton, 2015, Street scale modeling of storm surge inundation along the New Jersey Hudson River waterfront, J. Atmos. Oceanic Technol., DOI: 10.1175/JTECH-D-14-00213.1. web

Orton, P., S. Vinogradov, N. Georgas, A. Blumberg, N. Lin, V. Gornitz, C. Little, K. Jacob, and R. Horton, 2015. New York City Panel on Climate Change 2015 Report Chapter 4: Dynamic Coastal Flood Modeling, Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences, 1336(1), 56-66. web | PDF | NYCreport-PDF

Wang, J., D. G. MacDonald, P. M. Orton, K. Cole, and J. Lan, 2015.  The Effect of Discharge, Tides, and Wind on Lift-Off Turbulence, Estuaries and Coasts, 1-15, DOI: 10.1007/s12237-015-9958-y.  web

Georgas, N., P. Orton, A. Blumberg, L. Cohen, D. Zarrilli, and L. Yin, 2014. The Impact of Tidal Phase on Hurricane Sandy’s Flooding Around New York City and Long Island Sound, Journal of Extreme Events, DOI: 10.1142/S2345737614500067. web

Talke, S., P. Orton, and D. Jay, 2014.  Increasing Storm Tides at New York City, 1844-2013, Geophys. Res. Lett., 41, DOI: doi:10.1002/2014GL059574.  web

Meir, T., Orton, P.M., Pullen, J., Holt, T., Thompson, W.T., Arend, M.F., 2013. Forecasting the New York City urban heat island and sea breeze during extreme heat events. Weather and Forecasting.  doi: 10.1175/WAF-D-13-00012.1.  web

Orton, P., N. Georgas, A. Blumberg, and J. Pullen, 2012. Detailed Modeling of Recent Severe Storm Tides in Estuaries of the New York City Region, J. Geophys. Res., 117(C9), doi:10.1029/2012JC008220.  web

Harrison, E., Veron, F. Ho, D., Reid, M., Orton, P. and McGillis, W., 2012. Nonlinear interaction between rain-and wind-induced air-water gas exchange, J. Geophys. Res., 117(C3), C03034.  web

Ho, D.T., Schlosser, P. and Orton, P.M., 2011. On factors controlling air-water gas exchange in a large tidal river, Estuaries and Coasts, 34:1103-1116, DOI: 10.1007/s12237-011-9396-4.  web

Orton, P.M., McGillis, W.R., and Zappa, C.J., 2011.  An autonomous self-orienting catamaran for measuring air-water fluxes and forcing. In: Gas Transfer at Water Surfaces, edited by S. Komori et al., Kyoto University Press.  PDF

Orton, P. M., Zappa, C.J., and McGillis, W.R., 2010.  Tidal and atmospheric influences on near-surface turbulence in an estuary, J. Geophys. Res., 115, C12029, doi:10.1029/2010JC006312.  PDF | web

Orton, P.M., McGillis, W.R., and Zappa, C.J., 2010.  Sea breeze forcing of estuary turbulence and CO2 exchange. Geophys. Res. Lett., 37, L13603, doi:10.1029/2010GL043159.  PDF | web

Hickey, B. M., R. M. Kudela, J. D. Nash, K. W. Bruland, W. T. Peterson, P. MacCready, E. J. Lessard, D. A. Jay, N. S. Banas, A. M. Baptista, E. P. Dever, P. M. Kosro, L. K. Kilcher, A. R. Horner-Devine, E. D. Zaron, R. M. McCabe, J. O. Peterson, P. M. Orton, J. Pan, and M. C. Lohan, 2010. River Influences on Shelf Ecosystems: Introduction and Synthesis, J. Geophys. Res., doi:10.1029/2009JC005452.  web

Horner-Devine, A., Jay, D.A., Orton, P.M., and Spahn, E., 2009.  A conceptual model of the strongly tidal Columbia River plume. Journal of Marine Systems, 78(3): 460–475, doi:10.1016/j.jmarsys.2008.11.025.  web

Jay, D.A., Pan, J., Orton, P.M., and Horner-Devine, A., 2009. Asymmetry of tidal plume fronts in an eastern boundary current regime. Journal of Marine Systems, 78(3): 442-459, doi:10.1016/j.jmarsys.2008.11.015.  web

Orton, P.M. and Visbeck, M., 2009. Variability of internally generated turbulence in an estuary, from 100 days of continuous observations. Continental Shelf Research, doi:10.1016/j.csr.2007.07.008.  PDF | web

Pan, J., Jay, D. A., and Orton, P. M., 2007. Analyses of internal solitary waves generated at the Columbia River plume front using SAR imagery, J. Geophys. Res., 112, C07014, doi:10.1029/2006JC003688.  web

Jay, D. A., Orton, P. M., Chisholm, T., Wilson, D.J., and Fain, A.M.V. 2007.  Particle trapping in stratified estuaries: Consequences of mass conservation. Estuaries and Coasts 30(6), 1095-1105, doi: 10.1007/BF02841399.  web

Jay, D. A., Orton, P. M., Chisholm, T., Wilson, D.J., and Fain, A.M.V. 2007.  Particle trapping in stratified estuaries: Application to observations. Estuaries and Coasts 30(6), 1106-1125, doi: 10.1007/BF02841400.  web

Orton, P. M., and Jay, D. A., 2005. Observations at the tidal plume front of a high-volume river outflow, Geophys. Res. Lett., 32, L11605, doi:10.1029/2005GL022372.  web

Emmett, R.L, Brodeur, R.D. and Orton, P.M. 2004. The vertical distribution of juvenile salmon (Oncorhynchus spp.) and associated fishes in the Columbia River plume. Fisheries Oceanography 13:6, 392-402, doi: 10.1111/j.1365-2419.2004.00294.x.  web

Fain, A.M.V., Jay, D. A., Wilson, D. J., Orton, P. M., and Baptista, A. M. 2001. Seasonal, monthly and tidal patterns of particulate matter dynamics in the Columbia River estuary, Estuaries 24: 770-786, doi: 10.2307/1352884.  web

Orton, P.M. and Kineke, G.C. 2001.  Comparing calculated and observed vertical suspended sediment distributions from a Hudson River Estuary turbidity maximum. Estuarine, Coastal and Shelf Science, 52(3), 401-410, doi: 10.1006/ecss.2000.0747.  PDF | web


NY Times Room-For-Debate editorial, Should New York Build Sea Gates? Big Projects, Big Problems, So Think Small

Higinbotham, J.R., Moisan, J. and Orton, P. 2009. Solar Powered Autonomous Surface Vehicle Development and Operation. Sea Technology 50(7).

O’Mullan, G., Orton, P., McGillis, W., Sambrotto, R., and Mailloux, B., Sniffing out the Truth, New York Times Sunday Edition, Opinions Section, January 21, 2007.  PDF | web

Orton, P.M., (on climate change) Energy crisis much broader than perceived, The Oregonian, Editorial Section, January 29, 2001.  PDF

Schwing, F.B., Orton, P.M., Jay, D.A., Batchelder, H. and Rosenfeld, L.K. 1999.  Conference explores El Nino’s relationship to the Northeast Pacific.  EOS: Transactions, American Geophysical Union, 80(11):122.