The Hudson River Flood Hazard Decision Support System – Accurate Modeling of Flood Zones for Combined Sea Level Rise, Storm Surge, and Rain
PIs: Philip Orton, Kytt MacManus (Columbia CIESIN), Alan Blumberg, Mark Becker (Columbia CIESIN; 1961-2014), Upmanu Lall (Columbia University)
Funding agency: New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA)
Project period: May 2013 – April 2015
Under this project we created an easy to use, free, online mapping tool that lets users assess the impacts of flood inundation posed by sea level rise, storm surge and rain events on communities bordering the lower Hudson River. The study area for this project is the coastal zone area for all counties adjacent to the Hudson River from the southern border of Westchester County to the Federal Dam at Troy. Flood simulations merge all sources of flooding water with a single model, so they do not rely on linear superposition of tides, surge and tributary flooding, which is inaccurate along the Hudson [Orton et al. 2012].
The resulting 5-year to 1000-year flood zone maps are applied to newly-created social and critical infrastructure vulnerability layers, to measure and map flood risk for the Hudson River coastal region. The customized mapping tool allows users to select a particular region of interest and predicted flood scenarios and then visualize the impact on community resources. Users can download maps and summary statistics on structures, populations, and critical facilities affected by specific predicted flood events.
The mapping tool along with additional project-related information are hosted by the Center for International Earth Information Network (CIESIN), and the Beta version is available following this link. This website and the featured mapping tool will be a valuable resource for public officials, resource managers, and others looking to assess risk and evaluate the cost/benefit of proposed climate change mitigation options.
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 | PDF
Orton, P. M., T. M. Hall, S. Talke, N. Georgas, A. F. Blumberg, and S. Vinogradov (in preparation-a), A Detailed, Validated Flood Hazard Assessment for New York Harbor, J. Geophys. Res. PDF Draft
Orton, P., F. Conticello, F. Cioffi, T. Hall, N. Georgas, U. Lall, and A. Blumberg (in preparation-b), Hazard assessment from storm tides, rainfall and sea level rise on a tidal river estuary, Natural Hazards. PDF draft