Webinar Video: Building a Tide, Storm Surge, and Wind Wave Model for Coastal Alaska

Title: Building a Tide, Storm Surge, and Wind Wave Model for Coastal Alaska

Date: Tuesday, May 15; 12 -1 PM Alaska Time

Presenter: Brian Joyce, Graduate Student Researcher and PhD Candidate and the University of Notre Dame

Webinar Access:

Webinar link:



Call-in toll-free number (Verizon): 1-866-755-3168 (US)
Attendee access code: 402 119 14


Anchorage – FWS Regional Office, Science Applications Conference Room

Fairbanks – Federal Building, Refuges Conference Rm.

Coastal Alaska spans over 54,000 km with highly diverse geography ranging from sharp volcanic relief in the south to low lying deltas and tundra in the west and north. This region’s complex geometry, bathymetry, coastal features, and tides in conjunction with the presence of powerful storms, leaves the Alaskan coast particularly vulnerable to storm surge and storm waves. In the Bering, Chukchi, and Beaufort Seas sea ice is present for a significant portion of the year and there is strong inter and intra annual variability in the ice coverage. The effect of ice as it relates to large scale hydrodynamic processes such as tides and storm surges leads to significant uncertainty in coastal water levels during strong storm events which occur during ice covered periods. The exceptionally broad Bering Sea shelf, intricate coastal geometry, low lying topography, and large and energetic winter storms, make western Alaska especially vulnerable to storm surge.

We have worked to develop an accurate and robust computational model of the Alaskan coastal hydrodynamics capable of simulating tides and storm surge with particular focus on how varying ice coverage impacts storm surge. In order to accurately model these processes throughout the whole region we use the coastal circulation model ADCIRC. ADCIRC is a well validated finite element model which can take advantage of a high resolution unstructured mesh to capture the complexity of the geography and topography of the region as well as the range of important hydrodynamic processes.

This talk will focus on the current products available for storm surge guidance in Alaska, how our work seeks to improve on those, and where we would like to take the model in the future.

This entry was posted in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink.