ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints201908.0272.v1
Subject: Environmental And Earth Sciences, Oceanography Keywords: side-scan sonar; swath bathymetry; habitat monitoring; hurricane Sandy; hurricane Joaquin; climate change; shoreline detection; remote sensing
Online: 26 August 2019 (15:47:04 CEST)
This study utilizes repeated geoacoustic mapping to quantify the morphodynamic response of the nearshore to storm-induced changes. The aim of this study was to quantitatively map the nearshore zone of Assateague Island National Seashore (ASIS) to determine what changes in bottom sediments, benthic fauna and fish habitat are attributable to storm events including hurricane Sandy and the passage of hurricane Joaquin. Specifically, (1) the entire domain of the National Parks Service offshore area was mapped with side-scan sonar and multibeam bathymetry at a resolution comparable to that of the existing pre-storm survey, (2) a subset of the benthic stations were resampled that represented all sediment strata previously identified, and (3) newly obtained data were compared to that from the pre-storm survey to determined changes that could be attributed to specific storms such as Sandy and Joaquin. Capturing event specific dynamics requires rapid response surveys in close temporal association of the before and after period. The time-lapse between the pre-storm surveys for Sandy and our study meant that only a time and storm integrated signature for that storm could be obtained whereas with hurricane Joaquin we could identify impacts to the habitat type and geomorphology more directly related to that particular storm. This storm impacts study provides for the National Park Service direct documentation of storm-related changes in sediments and marine habitats on multiple scales: from large scale, side-scan sonar maps and interpretation of acoustic bottom types, to characterize as fully as possible habitats from 1 to 10 m up to many kilometer scales, as well as from point benthic samples within each sediment stratum and these results can help guide management of the island resources.
REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints202304.0786.v1
Subject: Environmental And Earth Sciences, Atmospheric Science And Meteorology Keywords: Tropical cyclone; hurricane; turbulence; convection; Rayleigh-Benard
Online: 23 April 2023 (07:38:59 CEST)
Tropical cyclones have long been known to be powered by turbulent enthalpy fluxes from the ocean surface and retarded by turbulent momentum fluxes into the surface. Here were review evidence that the development and structure of these storms are also partially controlled by turbulence in the outflow near the storm top. Finally, we present new research that shows that tropical cyclone-like, low-aspect-ratio vortices are most likely in systems in which the bottom heat flux is controlled by mechanical turbulence and the top boundary is insulating.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints201808.0406.v1
Subject: Environmental And Earth Sciences, Geophysics And Geology Keywords: hurricane storm surge; hurricane rainfall; wave hydrodynamics; Gulf of California (Mexico); Isla del Carmen; Loreto (Baja California Sur)
Online: 23 August 2018 (05:35:32 CEST)
This study reports the first example of major erosion from hurricanes degrading a rocky coastline anywhere around the Gulf of California, although other sources of evidence are well known regarding the effect of inland erosion due to catastrophic rainfall in the Southern Cape Region of the Baja California peninsula and farther north. The uplifted, 12-meter terrace on the eastern shore of Isla del Carmen is the site of an unconsolidated coastal boulder deposit (CBD) consisting of large limestone blocks and boulders eroded from underlying Pliocene strata. The CBD stretches approximately 1.5 km in length, mostly set back 25 m from the lip of the terrace. The largest blocks of upturned limestone near the terrace edge are estimated to weigh between 5.8 and 28 metric tons. Waves impacting the rocky coast that peeled back slabs of horizontally layered limestone at this spot are calculated to have been between 11.5 and 14 m in height. Analysis of sampled boulders from the CBD set back from the terrace edge by 25 m suggest that the average wave height responsible for moving those boulders was on the order of 4.3 m. Additional localities with exposed limestone shores, as well as other more common rock types of igneous origin, have yet to be surveyed for this phenomenon elsewhere around the Gulf of California.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202303.0531.v1
Subject: Biology And Life Sciences, Biology And Biotechnology Keywords: bifurcation; cyclone; forks; hurricane; tree biomechanics; tree risk assessment; typhoon
Online: 30 March 2023 (12:55:40 CEST)
Practitioners who assess the risk associated with urban trees often factor in the presence or absence of visual tree defects when determining whether a tree may fail. While these defects are a main fixture in many tree risk assessment systems and best management practices, the research supporting their usefulness in predicting tree failure during storms is limited. When looking at past research involving populations of storm-damaged trees, there are several defects that have never predicted failure (or have been associated with reduced rates of failure). In this study, we took a closer look at four such defects: codominant branches; branch unions with included bark; multiple stems originating from the same point; and overextended branches. After Hurricane Ian, we revisited 1519 risk assessed trees where one of these four defects was identified as the primary condition of concern. Fourteen of these trees experienced branch failure during the storm (which hit the study area as a downgraded tropical storm). Upon closer inspection, none of these failures occurred at the defect of concern. Our findings indicate that none of the defects assessed appeared to increase the likelihood of tree failure in the species tested. Our results are in line with past research on these defects derived from post-storm assessments and analysis.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202007.0644.v1
Subject: Environmental And Earth Sciences, Atmospheric Science And Meteorology Keywords: Lagrangian particle microphysics; polarimetric radar; outer rain bands; hurricane Dorian
Online: 26 July 2020 (16:59:15 CEST)
The availability of high quality surface observations of precipitation and volume observations by polarimetric operational radars make it possible to constrain, evaluate and validate numerical models with a wide variety of microphysical schemes. In this article, a novel particle-based Monte-Carlo microphysical model (called “McSnow”) is used to simulate the outer rain bands of Hurricane Dorian which traversed the densely instrumented precipitation research facility operated by NASA at Wallops Island, Virginia. The rain bands showed steady stratiform vertical profiles with radar signature of dendritic growth layers near −15 °C and peak reflectivity in the bright band of 55 dBZ along with polarimetric signatures of wet snow with sizes inferred to exceed 15 mm. A 2D-video disdrometer measured frequent occurrences of large drops >5 mm and combined with an optical array probe the drop size distribution was well-documented in spite of uncertainty for drops <0.5 mm due to high wind gusts and turbulence. The 1D McSnow control run and four numerical “experiments” were conducted and compared with observations. One of the main findings is that even at the moderate rain rate of 10 mm/h collisional breakup is essential for the shape of the drop size distribution.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202008.0305.v1
Subject: Environmental And Earth Sciences, Atmospheric Science And Meteorology Keywords: GSI-3DEnVar; GSI-4DEnVar; HWRF; Hurricane intensity changes; Background error covariance
Online: 13 August 2020 (11:55:30 CEST)
The feasibility of a hurricane initialization framework based on the GSI-4DEnVar data assimilation system for the HWRF model is evaluated in this study. The system considers the temporal evolution of error covariances via the use of four-dimensional ensemble perturbations that are provided by high-resolution, self-consistent HWRF ensemble forecasts. It is different from the configuration of the GSI-3DEnVar data assimilation system, similar to that used in the operational HWRF, which employs background error covariances provided by coarser-resolution global ensembles from the NCEP GFS ensemble Kalman filtering data assimilation system. Data assimilation and numerical simulation experiments for Hurricanes Joaquin (2015), Patricia (2015), and Matthew (2016) are conducted during their intensity changes. The impacts of two initialization frameworks on the HWRF analyses and forecasts are compared. It is found that GSI-4DEnVar leads to a reduction in track, MSLP, and MSW forecast errors in all of the HWRF simulations, compared with the GSI-3DEnVar initialization framework. Further diagnoses with Hurricane Joaquin indicate that GSI-4DEnVar can significantly alleviate the imbalances in the initial conditions and enhance the performance of the data assimilation and subsequent hurricane intensity and precipitation forecasts.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints201810.0439.v1
Subject: Engineering, Civil Engineering Keywords: hurricane storm surge; emergency management; coastal inundation; numerical model; South Texas
Online: 19 October 2018 (07:52:48 CEST)
The Lower Rio Grande Valley, South Texas is considered one of the more vulnerable coastal areas to flooding related with abrupt climate changes. From 1980-2017, there were 7 flooding events, 57 severe storm events, and 8 tropical cyclone events with losses exceeding $1 billion in the State of Texas, according to NOAA NCEI. Coastal flooding is typically a result of storm surge and heavy rainfall produced by hurricanes and tropical storms. In this study, the two-dimensional hydrodynamic flow circulation model is developed to predict the Lower Rio Grande Valley coastal area inundation due to the hurricane storm surge, especially in the case of Hurricane Beulah, 1967. The tropical cyclone properties and tidal constituents were assigned to the updated watershed geographic information with the bottom bathymetric and roughness data. For model validation, the Hurricane Dolly 2008 storm surge due to Hurricane Beulah at the coast and the storm surge reaches up to approximately 40 kilometers west from the coast through a natural river channel. This model can be used for a reliable engineering tool for the coastal hazard emergency management and disaster mitigation.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202110.0412.v1
Subject: Engineering, Civil Engineering Keywords: wave-structure-interaction; storm; hurricane; waves; loads; pressures; slamming; decks; bridges; CFD
Online: 27 October 2021 (13:29:41 CEST)
Given the documented wave-induced damage of elevated coastal decks during extreme natural hazards (e.g. hurricanes) in the last two decades, it is of utmost significance to decipher the wave-structure-interaction of complex deck geometries and quantify the associated loads. Therefore, this study focuses on the assessment of solitary wave impact on open-girder decks that allow the air to escape from the sides. To this end, an arbitrary Lagrangian-Eulerian (ALE) numerical method with a multi-phase compressible formulation is used for the development of three-dimensional hydrodynamic models, which are validated against a large-scale experimental dataset of a coastal deck. Using the validated model as a baseline, a parametric investigation of different deck geometries with a varying number of girders Ng and three different widths, was conducted. The results reveal that the Ng of a superstructure has a complex role and that for small wave heights the horizontal and uplift forces increase with the Ng, while for large waves the opposite happens. If the Ng is small the wave particles accelerate after the initial impact on the offshore girder leading to a more violent slamming on the onshore part of the deck and larger pressures and forces, however, if Ng is large then unsynchronized eddies are formed in each chamber, which dissipate energy and apply out-of-phase pressures that result in multiple but weaker impacts on the deck. The decomposition of the total loads into slamming and quasi-static components, reveals surprisingly consistent trends for all the simulated waves, which facilitates the development of predictive load equations. These new equations, which are a function of Ng and are limited by the ratio of the wavelength to the deck width, provide more accurate predictions than existing empirical methods, and are expected to be useful to both engineers and researchers working towards the development of resilient coastal infrastructure.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202205.0282.v1
Subject: Biology And Life Sciences, Agricultural Science And Agronomy Keywords: cyclone; defect; hurricane; likelihood of failure; storm damage; typhoon; urban ecology; urban forestry
Online: 21 May 2022 (11:03:18 CEST)
Urban trees are often more sun- and wind-exposed than their forest-grown counterparts. These environmental differences can impact how many species grow – impacting trunk taper, crown spread, branch architecture, and other aspects of tree form. Given these differences, windthrow models derived from traditional forest production data sources may not be appropriate for urban forest management. Additionally, visual abnormalities historically labeled as “defects” in timber production may not have a significant impact on tree failure potential. In this study, we look at urban tree failures associated with Hurricane Irma in Tampa, Florida, USA. We used spatial analysis to determine if patterns of failure existed among our inventoried trees. We also looked at risk assessment data to determine which visual defects were the most common and the most likely to be associated with branch or whole-tree failure. Results indicate that there was no spatial pattern associated with the observed tree failures – trees failed or withstood the storm as individuals. While some defects like decay and dead wood were associated with increased tree failure, other defects like weak branch unions and poor branch architecture were less problematic.
Subject: Biology And Life Sciences, Forestry Keywords: hurricane; tree risk assessment; urban forest strike team; species failure profile; likelihood of failure
Online: 24 April 2020 (04:37:51 CEST)
Trees in residential landscapes provide many benefits, but can injure persons and damage property when they fail. In hurricane-prone regions like Florida, USA, the regular occurrence of hurricanes has provided an opportunity to assess factors that influence the likelihood of wind-induced tree failure and develop species failure profiles. We assessed open-grown trees in Naples, Florida, following the passage of Hurricane Irma in September 2017 to determine the effect of relevant factors on the degree of damage sustained by individual trees. Of 4,034 assessed individuals (n = 15 species), 74% sustained no damage, 4% sustained only minor damage (i.e., minimal corrective pruning needed), 6% sustained significant damage (i.e., major corrective pruning needed), and 15% were whole tree failures (i.e., overturned trees or trees requiring removal). The proportion of individuals in each damage category varied among species, stem diameter at 1.4 m above ground, and the presence of utility lines, which was a proxy for maintenance. We compared our results with the findings of seven previous hurricanes in the region to explore species’ resilience in hurricanes.