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Dr. Talea Mayo (Assistant Professor, UCF CECE)

Title: Hurricane Storm Surge Modeling: Prediction, Risk Analysis, and Uncertainty

Hurricane storm surges pose a significant threat to civil infrastructures.  For example, structures are typically designed to withstand a “100-year” storm surge, and drinking water quality can be directly impacted by saltwater intrusion caused by these hazards.  Due to the sparsity of hurricanes and storm surge events, storm surge modeling has become increasingly important to the preservation of life and property, particularly as the climate and storm climatology changes and coastal populations increase.  Numerical storm surge models are used in real time for forecasting, as well as for long term planning.  However, the effectiveness of these applications largely depends on the accuracy of the storm surge models themselves.  Uncertainties in storm surge models largely result from uncertainties in the winds that are used to drive them, and specifically from uncertainties in how they are represented.  Uncertainties in model parameters such as bottom friction are also common sources of error.  Advanced methods using data can be used to reduce these model uncertainties.  In this talk, such approaches to uncertainty reduction are discussed.

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