Coastal Inundation Studies for
The U.S. Army Corps of
Engineer District, area of
many islands in the
tropical Pacific Ocean.
Typically, islands are
volcanic, with narrow
View of Umatac Bay, U.S. Territory of Guam
coasts and rugged
interiors. Coastal roads
and communities are a vital part of island society. Many island coasts face exposure to
vast expanses of open ocean. Fortunately, wave climates are generally mild, but powerful
tropical storms can occasionally strike. Often a protective coral reef helps shield island
shores from the huge waves that can be generated in an intense storm. Nonetheless, island
roads and communities can suffer great damage due to storm-raised water levels and high
waves which break and run up on shore.
Over the past decade, physics-based numerical modeling procedures for determining
coastal inundation levels with return periods of up to 100 years have been developed and
improved at the U.S. Army Engineer Research and Development Center by the Coastal
governmental planning, and project design. Study areas addressed during recent years
include the Territory of Guam; Island of Rota, Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana
Islands; and Territory of American Samoa.
The technology used in these studies includes a suite of numerical models for tropical
storm wind fields, water levels due to astronomical tide and storm surge, wind wave
generation, wave transformation over complex nearshore bathymetry, nearshore wave
setup, and wave runup at shore.
Model results will provide improved estimates of wave and storm surge driven coastal
inundation levels with return periods of up to 100 years.
U.S. Army Engineer District, Honolulu (HED)
Dr. Edward F. Thompson, U.S. Army Engineer Research and Development Center,
Point of Contact
ATTN: CEERD-HN-H, 3909 Halls Ferry Road, Vicksburg, MS 39180-6199; e-mail:
. Additional information can be found at
U.S. Army Engineer Research and Development Center
Coastal and Hydraulics Laboratory (Project/Mission Support)