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Midterm Report

:
Modeling Sea Level Rise in
the Hudson River Estuary

Estuary Modeling
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Using publicly available hydrodynamic computer
program HECRAS based upon Hudson Estuary forecast
model developed by the NOAA National Weather

Jery R. Stedinger & Wenqi Yi

Service (NWS) to describe impact of climateclimate-change

School of Civil and Environmental Engineering
Cornell University

scenarios on estuary stages.
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in collaboration with

Use data from NOAA, DEC, and USGS to develop
alternative scenarios and for any recalibration of the
Hudson Estuary model.

Kristin Marcell
Special Projects Coordinator
NYS DEC Hudson River Estuary Program

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Will provide publicpublic-friend informative results.

October 2009

Model Can Integrate

Hudson
River
Estuary:
Battery
to
Troy Dam
above
Albany:
150 miles

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Tidal variation (as observed,
observed 44-5 feet swing)

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Tributary flow levels (wet, dry, average)

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Possible sea level rise at the Battery (0, 2, 4 ft)

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Proposed storm surge (10 foot peak)

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Wind setup
p

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Any channel changes, shoreline modifications,

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Future land movement (uplift, subsidence)

http://travelhudsonvalley.org/

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Goals for Effort
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Allow public to see river stages over time that result
from different combinations of tide, tributary flows, sea
level rise, storm surge, wind, channel modifications,
and the relative contribution of each.

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Provide planning studies with reasonable estimates of
possible water levels in the Hudson estuary with
different climate
climate--change scenarios.

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Allow investigation of value of improved data related to
bathymetry, land elevation, hydraulic channel
characteristics and tributary flows.

NWS Forecasts for Albany

http://newweb.erh.noaa.gov/ahps2/hydrograph.php?wfo=aly&gage=albn6&view=1,1,1,1,1,1,1,0

Historical
Stage and
Flow

Hudson
River
Estuary

What would these
look like under
different climate
change scenarios?
http://ny.water.usgs.gov/projects/dialer_plots/hsfloc.gif

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Illustrative Model Output

Water Profile - Base Case, t = 02 hr

Water Profile - Base Case, t = 01 hr

Water Profile - Base Case, t = 03 hr

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Water Profile - Base Case, t = 04 hr

Water Profile - Base Case, t = 06 hr

Water Profile - Base Case, t = 05 hr

Water Profile - Base Case, t = 07 hr

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Water Profile - Base Case, t = 08 hr

Water Profile - Base Case, t = 10 hr

Water Profile - Base Case, t = 09 hr

Water Profile - Base Case, t = 11 hr

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Illustrative Model Output

Water Profile - Base Case, t = 02 hr

Water Profile - Base Case, t = 01 hr

Water Profile - Base Case, t = 03 hr

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Water Profile - Base Case, t = 04 hr

Water Profile - Base Case, t = 06 hr

Water Profile - Base Case, t = 05 hr

Water Profile - Base Case, t = 07 hr

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Water Profile - Base Case, t = 08 hr

Water Profile - Base Case, t = 10 hr

Water Profile - Base Case, t = 09 hr

Water Profile - Base Case, t = 11 hr

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Water Profile - Question

Water Profile - Max/Min

How can a 5 foot tide

Max & Min Water Surface
25

at the Battery travel 150 miles

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to Albany and still be

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be a 5 foot tide, 6 hrs later,

‐5 0

100000

200000

300000

400000

500000

600000

700000

800000

‐15

despite the energy losses

‐25

to resistance?

‐35
Distance from Battery, 
lowest channel elevation maximum elevation minimum elevat

Hudson
River
Estuary

Troy
N. Albany
S. Albany

600 ft
900 ft
1100 ft30 ft

6 ft
17 ft

Profile - Max/Min High/Low Flows
25
15
5

PK

2,400 ft

50 ft
‐5 0

100000

200000

300000

400000

500000

600000

700000

800000

‐15
‐25
‐35
Distance from Battery, NY (f

Battery

4,500 ft

35 ft

low flow max

low flow min

high flow max

high flow min

channel bottom elevation

http://ny.water.usgs.gov/projects/dialer_plots/hsfloc.gif

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Profile Upper Estuary Max/Min High/Low Flows

Profile - Max/Min - Storm Surge
25

25
15

15
5

5

‐5 0

‐5
600000

620000

640000

660000

680000

700000

720000

740000

760000

780000

800000

‐15

20

40

60

80

100

120

140

160

‐15
‐25

25
‐25

‐35

‐35

Distance from Battery, 

• Castleton-on-Hudson
Distance from Battery, N
low flow max

low flow min

high flow max

storm surge max

high flow min

storm surge min

channel bottom eleva

Storm surge is a long wave lasting 1-2 days - no variation.

channel bottom elevati

Flows only affect estuary stage above Castleton-on-Hudson.

Profile - Max/Min for SLR 0-2-4 ft

Key Findings
1.

What information does one team need from another to complete
their work: NONE

2.

What assumptions do we need to make explicit and to make sure
we are in agreement as to those judgments/choices: Using current
geometry of river as fixed, with same channel independent of SLR.

3.

Remaining work to do: Model mostly running. Defining scenarios.
Need to develop form of presentation vehicle, and see if it works for
public.

4.

What will your final product include in terms of content: Expect final
product by end of the year. Web based tutorial showing how key
factors (tides, flows, SLR) interact to determine Estuary stages.

5.

Interactions needed in next 6 months to link work across projects:
Look for feed back of effectiveness of presentation.

Tidal Swing Range (max‐min water surface elevation
7
6
5
4
3
0

20

40

60

80

100

120

140

160

Di
Distance from Battery, NY (mile
f
B
NY ( il

channel bottom
2ft sea level rise tidal swing range

0ft sea level rise tidal swing ran
4ft sea level rise tidal swing

Tides have 12 hour period - amplitude varies over estuary.

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