Contributions to uncertainty in runup forecasts

By: , and 



The U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) provides operational forecasts of total water levels (TWL) and coastal change. Uncertainties around forecast TWL are based on the temporal and spatial range of observed beach slopes near the forecast site. This paper investigates other sources of uncertainty that are not accounted for, focusing on four beaches where the USGS has deployed remote cameras, and on outer Cape Cod, which has diverse bar morphologies. We find that the range of runup indicated by ten formulae is nearly as large as the variations caused by the range of beach slopes. A formula that accounts for bar morphology substantially decreases calculated runup, and might improve forecasts. Errors in the timing of forecast storm landfall generate uncertainties in TWL where tides are large. Analyses suggest that the effect of off-normal incident waves is relatively small. These results suggest opportunities for improving the TWL forecasts.

Study Area

Publication type Conference Paper
Publication Subtype Conference Paper
Title Contributions to uncertainty in runup forecasts
DOI 10.1142/9789811275135_0037
Volume Beaches
Year Published 2023
Language English
Publisher World Scientific
Contributing office(s) St. Petersburg Coastal and Marine Science Center, Woods Hole Coastal and Marine Science Center
Description 18 p.
Larger Work Type Book
Larger Work Subtype Conference publication
Larger Work Title The proceedings of the Coastal Sediments 2023
First page 401
Last page 418
Conference Title Coastal Sediments 2023
Conference Location New Orleans, Louisiana, United States
Conference Date April 11-15, 2023
Country United States
State Massachusetts
Other Geospatial Cape Cod
Google Analytic Metrics Metrics page
Additional publication details