Benefits of the SURA Super-regional Testbed

Better forecasts of inundation

Intense storms bring high waves and surges that can inundate coastal areas and flood rivers.  The results from the total water level and inundation component provide much clearer understanding of modeling system performance as applied to waves, tides, surge and inundation in different forcing environments. The testbed historically focused on two regions that are highly impacted by storm induced flooding: the Gulf of Maine and the Gulf of Mexico.  COMT’s current Caribbean project aims to extend effective forecasting of waves and storm surges from gently sloped areas, such as the Gulf of Mexico’s northern edge, to steep-sloped areas, like those surrounding Caribbean islands. Findings will be of direct use to agencies to further their use of models to fulfil agency missions. The scope of the testbed and evaluation of the results will be influenced by NOAA’s Storm Surge Roadmap, the National Hurricane Center, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and FEMA.

Current updates on inundation and other COMT projects, was published on the website EOS, a publication of the American Geophysical Union, in August 2017.

Improved management of Chesapeake Bay resources and water quality

The estuarine hypoxia aspect will directly benefit managers of fisheries and natural resources. The results of this testbed will include an improved understanding of the uncertainty inherent in model predictions. The collective results of multiple model applications will provide better estimates of hydrodynamics and oxygen content. The results will better enable resource managers to understand predicted conditions and make appropriate management decisions.

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Better forecasts of dissolved oxygen in the Northern Gulf of Mexico

The shelf hypoxia team will make operational a 3 km resolution Gulf of Mexico / Caribbean nowcast/forecast circulation model with documented skill and uncertainty. This system will provide output for emergency response applications in the Gulf as well as boundary conditions for higher resolution physical and biochemical predictions.

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A national cyberinfrastructure for future model assessments

Cyberinfrastructure will be provided in the testbed where modelers can seamlessly access observed input data and provide output in the form of model results using consistent standards to allow for skill assessment and product delivery for coastal operations.

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What Is a Testbed?
Participating Organizations of the Testbed

SURA Coastal & Environmental Research Program Contacts

Dr. L. Don Wright, Director of Coastal Research
Sara J. Madden, Program Manager