Integrating Climatological-Hydrodynamic Modeling and Paleohurricane Records to Assess Storm Surge Risk

Amirhosein Begmohammadi, Christine Y. Blackshaw, Ning Lin, Avantika Gori, Elizabeth Wallace, Kerry Emanuel, Jeffrey P. Donnelly

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Sediment cores from blue holes have emerged as a promising tool for extending the record of long-term tropical cyclone (TC) activity. However, interpreting this archive is challenging because storm surge depends on many parameters including TC intensity, track, and size. In this study, we use climatological-hydrodynamic modeling to interpret paleohurricane sediment records between 1851 and 2016 and assess the storm surge risk for Long Island in The Bahamas. As the historical TC data from 1988 to 2016 is too limited to estimate the surge risk for this area, we use historical event attribution in paleorecords paired with synthetic storm modeling to estimate TC parameters that are often lacking in earlier historical records (i.e., the radius of maximum wind for storms before 1988). We then reconstruct storm surges at the sediment site for a longer time period of 1851–2016 (the extent of hurricane Best Track records). The reconstructed surges are used to verify and bias-correct the climatological-hydrodynamic modeling results. The analysis reveals a significant risk for Long Island in The Bahamas, with an estimated 500-year stormtide of around 1.63 ± 0.26 m, slightly exceeding the largest recorded level at site between 1988 and 2015. Finally, we apply the bias-corrected climatological-hydrodynamic modeling to quantify the surge risk under two carbon emission scenarios. Due to sea level rise and TC climatology change, the 500-year stormtide would become 2.69 ± 0.50 and 3.29 ± 0.82 m for SSP2-4.5 and SSP5-8.5, respectively by the end of the 21st century.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numbere2023JC020354
JournalJournal of Geophysical Research: Oceans
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2024

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Oceanography
  • Geophysics
  • Geochemistry and Petrology
  • Space and Planetary Science
  • Earth and Planetary Sciences (miscellaneous)


Dive into the research topics of 'Integrating Climatological-Hydrodynamic Modeling and Paleohurricane Records to Assess Storm Surge Risk'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this