Tropical Cyclone Induced Storm Surge and Relative Sea Level Rise Modeling in the Lower Mississippi River Industrial Corridor

Authors: Joseph B Harris*, Department of Criminology & Criminal Justice, Western Carolina University, T Andrew Joyner, Department of Geosciences, East Tennessee State University, Robert V Rohli, Department of Oceanography & Coastal Sciences, Louisiana State University
Topics: Hazards, Risks, and Disasters, Hazards and Vulnerability, Geographic Information Science and Systems
Keywords: storm surge, tropical cyclones, Louisiana, GIS
Session Type: Virtual Poster
Day: 4/7/2021
Start / End Time: 9:35 AM / 10:50 AM
Room: Virtual 51
Presentation File: Download



The coastal areas of Louisiana have experienced significant destruction in recent years because of tropical cyclone events. These events, coupled with relative sea level rise, are major threats to the Lower Mississippi River Industrial Corridor and the approximately 120 industrial complexes located within the corridor. Empirical Bayesian kriging interpolation method was applied to the 2004 National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) Technical Report #50 dataset to create digital elevation models for the study area for 2020, 2045, and 2070 by incorporating estimated subsidence rates for the respective years. The Federal Emergency Management Agency’s Hazus economic loss modeling program was utilized along with the newly created digital elevation models to conduct a reanalysis of Hurricane’s Gustav, Katrina, and Rita for present-day sea level, as well as for the years 2020, 2045, and 2070 sea level rise projections using the Grand Isle and Lake Canal tidal station data to project sea level rise for the given years. Eight of the 122 industrial complexes within the Lower Mississippi River Industrial Corridor were projected to be inundated by modeled Hurricane Katrina storm surge using Grand Isle and New Canal sea level rise trends by 2020, two industrial complexes were projected to be inundated by modeled Hurricane Rita storm surge by 2070, and six industrial complexes were projected to be inundated by modeled Hurricane Gustav storm surge by 2020.

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