25 Apr 2024
 | 25 Apr 2024
Status: this preprint is currently under review for the journal NHESS.

Rapid simulation of wave runup on morphologically diverse, reef-lined coasts with the BEWARE-2 meta-process model

Robert McCall, Curt Storlazzi, Floortje Roelvink, Stuart Pearson, Roel de Goede, and José Antolínez

Abstract. Low-lying, tropical coral reef-lined coastlines are becoming increasingly vulnerable to wave-driven flooding due to population growth, coral reef degradation, and sea-level rise. Early-warning systems (EWS) are needed to enable coastal authorities to issue timely alerts and coordinate preparedness and evacuation measures for their coastal communities. At longer time scales, risk management and adaptation planning require of robust assessments of future flooding hazard considering uncertainties. However, due to diversity in reef morphologies and complex reef hydrodynamics compared to sandy shorelines, there have been no robust, analytical solutions for wave runup to allow the development of large-scale coastal wave-driven flooding EWS and risk assessment frameworks for reef-lined coasts. To address the need for a fast, robust prediction of runup along reef-lined coasts, we constructed the BEWARE-2 (Broad-range Estimator of Wave Attack in Reef Environments) meta-process modeling system. We developed this meta-process model using a training dataset of hydrodynamics and wave runup computed by the XBeach Non-Hydrostatic+ process-based hydrodynamic model for 440 combinations of water level, wave height, and wave period on 195 morphologically diverse representative reef profiles. In validation, the BEWARE-2 modeling system produced runup results that had a root-mean square error of 0.63 m and bias of 0.26 m, relative to runup of 0.17–20.9 m simulated by XBeach Non-Hydrostatic+ for a large range of oceanographic forcing conditions and for a diverse reef morphologies. Incorporating parametric modifications in the modeling system to account for variations in reef roughness and beach slope allows systematic errors (relative bias) in BEWARE-2 predictions to be reduced by a factor of 1.5–6.5 for relatively coarse or smooth reefs, and mild or steep beach slopes. This relatively accurate solution is provided by the BEWARE-2 modeling system 4–5 orders of magnitude faster than the full, process-based hydrodynamic model and could therefore be integrated in large-scale EWS for tropical, reef-lined coasts, as well as used for large-scale flood risk assessments.

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Robert McCall, Curt Storlazzi, Floortje Roelvink, Stuart Pearson, Roel de Goede, and José Antolínez

Status: open (until 18 Jun 2024)

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Robert McCall, Curt Storlazzi, Floortje Roelvink, Stuart Pearson, Roel de Goede, and José Antolínez
Robert McCall, Curt Storlazzi, Floortje Roelvink, Stuart Pearson, Roel de Goede, and José Antolínez


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Short summary
Accurate predictions of wave-driven flooding are essential to manage risk on low-lying, reef-lined coasts. Models to provide this information are, however, computationally expensive. We present and validate a modelling system that simulates flood drivers on diverse and complex reef-lined coasts as competently as a full-physics model, but at a fraction of the computational cost to run. This development paves the way for application in large-scale early warning systems and flood risk assessments.