By Katy Serafin, Postdoctoral Research Fellow, Stanford University
When a storm event is barreling down on the Washington coast, elevated sea levels often cause low-lying areas to flood, while coastal dunes may erode as they are pummeled by waves. A question many of us may have is what is actually driving the flooding and erosion we experience? Is it large waves? Storm surge? A high tide? A heavy rainfall event with subsequent peak streamflow? A combination of a few of these variables, or dominantly driven by one? Coastal and estuarine flooding and erosion events are complex problems, often driven by many different processes like waves, storm surge, tides, and streamflow. Thus, understanding the variability of specific processes and how they combine to drive extreme sea levels will help to identify vulnerable locations, information crucial for appropriately responding to risk.
By Hugh Shipman, Washington Department of Ecology
The Department of Ecology recently updated its popular shoreline photo website, improving access to multiple series of oblique aerial photos of Washington’s coast. These photos are a key element of Ecology’s Coastal Atlas and are a great complement to the vertical imagery readily available on Google and Bing’s mapping sites.
NOAA’s National Weather Service has released a coastal flood warning for southwest Washington. The warning will remain in effect from midnight 1/17/2018 to midnight 1/18/2017. Significant surf and beach erosion are expected.
The contents of this website, including the blog, forum, and links to other sites, are provided for informational use and may not reflect the positions and priorities of all network members, including Washington Sea Grant and the Department of Ecology. Comments posted to this site do not constitute formal public comment. Ecology, Sea Grant and network members do not control or guarantee the accuracy, relevance, timeliness, or completeness of information contained on any linked websites.