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  1. null (Ed.)
    During tropical cyclones, processes including dune erosion, overwash, inundation, and storm-surge ebb can rapidly reshape barrier islands, thereby increasing coastal hazards and flood exposure inland. Relatively few measurements are available to evaluate the physical processes shaping coastal systems close to shore during these extreme events as it is inherently challenging to obtain reliable field data due to energetic waves and rapid bed level changes which can damage or shift instrumentation. However, such observations are critical toward improving and validating model forecasts of coastal storm hazards. To address these data and knowledge gaps, this study links hydrodynamic and meteorological observations with numerical modeling to 1) perform data-model inter-comparisons of relevant storm processes, namely infragravity (IG) waves, storm surge, and meteotsunamis; and 2) better understand the relative importance of each of these processes during hurricane impact.Recorded Presentation from the vICCE (YouTube Link): 
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  2. Abstract

    Tide gauge water levels are commonly used as a proxy for flood incidence on land. These proxies are useful for projecting how sea‐level rise (SLR) will increase the frequency of coastal flooding. However, tide gauges do not account for land‐based sources of coastal flooding and therefore flood thresholds and the proxies derived from them likely underestimate the current and future frequency of coastal flooding. Here we present a new sensor framework for measuring the incidence of coastal floods that captures both subterranean and land‐based contributions to flooding. The low‐cost, open‐source sensor framework consists of a storm drain water level sensor, roadway camera, and wireless gateway that transmit data in real‐time. During 5 months of deployment in the Town of Beaufort, North Carolina, 24 flood events were recorded. Twenty‐five percent of those events were driven by land‐based sources—rainfall, combined with moderate high tides and reduced capacity in storm drains. Consequently, we find that flood frequency is higher than that suggested by proxies that rely exclusively on tide gauge water levels for determining flood incidence. This finding likely extends to other locations where stormwater networks are at a reduced drainage capacity due to SLR. Our results highlight the benefits of instrumenting stormwater networks directly to capture multiple drivers of coastal flooding. More accurate estimates of the frequency and drivers of floods in low‐lying coastal communities can enable the development of more effective long‐term adaptation strategies.

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  3. Abstract

    Meteotsunami waves can be triggered by atmospheric disturbances accompanying tropical cyclone rainbands (TCRs) before, during, and long after a tropical cyclone (TC) makes landfall. Due to a paucity of high‐resolution field data along open coasts during TCs, relatively little is known about the atmospheric forcing that generate and resonantly amplify these ocean waves, nor their coastal impact. This study links high‐resolution field measurements of sea level and air pressure from Hurricane Harvey (2017) with a numerical model to assess the potential for meteotsunami generation by sudden changes in air pressure accompanying TCRs. Previous studies, through the use of idealized models, have suggested that wind is the dominant forcing mechanism for TCR‐induced meteotsunami with negligible contributions from air pressure. Our model simulations show that large air pressure perturbations (∼1–3 mbar) can generate meteotsunamis that are similar in period (∼20 min) and amplitude (∼0.2 m) to surf zone observations. The measured air pressure disturbances were often short in wavelength, which necessitates a numerical model with high temporal and spatial resolution to simulate meteotsunami triggered by this mechanism. Sensitivity analysis indicates that air pressure forcing can produce meteotsunami with amplitudesO(0.5 m)and large spatial extents, but model results are sensitive to atmospheric factors, including model uncertainties (length, forward translation speed, and trajectory of the air pressure disturbance), as well as oceanographic factors (storm surge). The present study provides observational and numerical evidence that suggest that air pressure perturbations likely play a larger role in meteotsunami generation by TCRs than previously identified.

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  4. Abstract

    Classifying images using supervised machine learning (ML) relies on labeled training data—classes or text descriptions, for example, associated with each image. Data‐driven models are only as good as the data used for training, and this points to the importance of high‐quality labeled data for developing a ML model that has predictive skill. Labeling data is typically a time‐consuming, manual process. Here, we investigate the process of labeling data, with a specific focus on coastal aerial imagery captured in the wake of hurricanes that affected the Atlantic and Gulf Coasts of the United States. The imagery data set is a rich observational record of storm impacts and coastal change, but the imagery requires labeling to render that information accessible. We created an online interface that served labelers a stream of images and a fixed set of questions. A total of 1,600 images were labeled by at least two or as many as seven coastal scientists. We used the resulting data set to investigate interrater agreement: the extent to which labelers labeled each image similarly. Interrater agreement scores, assessed with percent agreement and Krippendorff's alpha, are higher when the questions posed to labelers are relatively simple, when the labelers are provided with a user manual, and when images are smaller. Experiments in interrater agreement point toward the benefit of multiple labelers for understanding the uncertainty in labeling data for machine learning research.

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