Rodney J. Sobey, Bruce A. Harper, George M. Mitchell


Details are presented of a general numerical hydrodynamic model for the generation and propagation of tropical cyclone or hurricane storm surge. The model, known as SURGE, solves the two-dimensional depth-integrated form of the Long Wave Equations using an explicit finite difference procedure, with tropical cyclone surface wind and pressure forcing estimated from an adaption of available models based on U.S. hurricanes. Variations in tropical cyclone parameters as well as the physical characteristics of a coastal location such as bathymetry and details of capes, bays, reefs and islands are accommodated by the model. The accuracy and stability of the numerical solution have been confirmed by a comprehensive wave deformation analysis including quasi-non-linear effects and the open boundary problem has been overcome by the use of a Bathystrophic Storm Tide approximation to boundary water levels. A detailed sensitivity analysis has identified the principal surge generating parameters and the model has been checked against an historical tropical cyclone storm surge. SURGE has been used extensively in the northern Australian region and examples are presented.


numerical modeling; tropical cyclone; storm surge; surge modeling

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