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Research in the Coastal HAzaRds Modeling lab, led by Dr. Maitane Olabarrieta at the University of Florida, focuses on the processes that drive coastal erosion and flooding under extreme storms, water quality hazards, and longer-term (seasonal to decadal) inlet and estuarine morphodynamics. One main goal is to improve numerical models used to predict coastal change, water quality, erosion and flooding. Within the CHARM lab, undergraduate and graduate students combine advanced numerical modeling, field surveys and remote sensing to analyze the feedbacks between the hydrodynamics, sediments transport and coastal morphology.


Evolution of the breach generated during Hurricane Matthew (2016): In October 2016, during Hurricane Matthew,  breach opened south of Matanzas Inlet. The breach evolved into a well developed inlet, with a main-channel and an ebb-tidal delta. The inlet was artificially closed the 30th of November 2016. Using aerial imagery acquired with UAVs we are analyzing the response of the inlet to external forces (waves and tides). This project is funded by NSF and USGS.

Meteotsunamis during tropical cyclones: Analysis of 20-year time series of water levels measured by the NOAA tidal gauges in the northeastern Gulf of Mexico has revealed that meteotsunamis are ubiquitous in this region. They can be triggered by winter and summer extra-tropical storms and by tropical cyclones. As an example, in this figure we can see the atmospheric radar reflectivity mosaics obtained from NOAA during Hurricane Hermine (2016). The squalls associated with the hurricane produced meteotsunamis that were measured in Naples and Clearwater Beach.


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