Talks & Lectures
16 Apr 2018
ABS Building Room 301

Storm Impacts on Coastal Infrastructure: Improved Quantification of Wave Energy and Inundation

CEOE Seminar Series: Navid Tahvildari, Old Dominion University

Navid Tahvildari

Extreme weather events impact coastal infrastructure through inundation and wave action. With sea level rise, and expected increase in intensity and frequency of extreme storms due to climate change, it is imperative to enhance our understanding of coastal hydrodynamic and hydrologic processes to reliably predict storm forces on infrastructure and thereby increase the resilience of coastal communities.

The phase-averaged wave models incorporated in operational storm surge models can suffer inaccuracies in shallow waters due to crude representation of nonlinear wave-wave interaction and wave interactions with the natural landscape. On the other hand, sources of urban flooding--namely precipitation-driven overland flow and storm tide--are generally treated separately. In addition to direct inundation, storm tide indirectly contributes to flooding by reducing the efficiency of stormwater infrastructure through elevating the tailwater. Therefore accurate flood estimation requires accounting for interactions between drivers of flooding and their dynamic interactions.

I present recent works in my group that aim to address some of these shortcomings. First, I discuss results of a new phase-resolving wave-mud interaction model that includes an improved characterization of bottom mud, and show how a widely-used mud rheological model can generate significant errors in prediction of wave energy and characteristics. Second, I discuss development and validation of a new phase-resolving time-domain model for wave-vegetation interaction that accounts for the dynamics of highly flexible blades as well as show how vegetation motion can affect frequency-dependent pattern of wave damping. Some of the feedbacks from mud and vegetation to wave forcing will also be discussed. Finally, I will show preliminary results of an approach that aims to improve flooding estimate by integrating hydrodynamics of storm tide and overland flooding.


Navid Tahvildari is an assistant professor in the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering at Old Dominion University. His current research focuses on computational and analytical modeling of generation and propagation of gravity waves, computational modeling of storm wave and surge interactions with the natural and urban landscape, vulnerability assessment of coastal infrastructure to extreme and recurrent flooding, and quantifying wave dissipation and reduction in shoreline erosion by nature-based shore protection features. His research has been funded by the Virginia Sea Grant, the Virginia Department of Transportation and the U.S. Department of Transportation.

Tahvildari received his Ph.D. in civil engineering with a coastal and ocean engineering focus from Texas A&M University. Prior to joining ODU, he was a postdoctoral scholar at the Environmental Fluid Mechanics Laboratory in Stanford University.

For more information and opportunities to talk with the speaker, please contact David Vaccari at [email protected]

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