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Introduction of Wave Set-up Effects and Mass Flux to the Sea, Lake, and Overland Surges from Hurricanes (SLOSH) Model



Long T. Phan, Donald Slinn, Shaun Kline


Hurricanes wreak havoc on the lives and infrastructure of coastal communities. Storm surge, a local rise in sea level elevations, is perhaps the most devastating element of these tropical cyclones. Storm surge depends on the tidal stage, barometric pressure, Coriolis effects, wind stress, and wave forcing, as well as the local bathymetry. In the past, many storm surge numerical models, such as Sea, Lake, and Overland Surges from Hurricanes (SLOSH), neglect wave forcing components to conserve computational efficiency. This omission would surely be preferred when wave forcing is not significant. However, numerous situations could necessitate the inclusion of waves' effects to more correctly model the surge both spatially and temporally. In its effort to characterize the combined effects of hurricane hazards (hurricane wind, storm surge, and waves) for use in developing structural design criteria for coastal structures, NIST in collaboration with the NOAA's Meteorological Development Laboratory (MDL) and the Oceanic and Atmospheric Research (OAR) has developed a methodology that incorporates hurricane science, hydrology, probabilistic methods, and structural engineering needs for use in developing site specific, risk-based design criteria for coastal structures subjected to the above hurricane hazards. This early effort utilizes program SLOSH for hydrodynamic simulations without consideration of wave effects. Recognizing that wave set-up and mass flux might have a significant influence on total storm surge levels, the NIST then collaborated with NOAA's National Hurricane Center (NHC) to provide funding and technical guidance to the University of Florida for the incorporation of a wave model into the SLOSH model to extend SLOSH capability. The result of this effort is described in this report.
NIST Interagency/Internal Report (NISTIR) - 7689
Report Number


Hurricanes, SLOSH, storm surge, SWAN, wave, wind speed


Phan, L. , Slinn, D. and Kline, S. (2010), Introduction of Wave Set-up Effects and Mass Flux to the Sea, Lake, and Overland Surges from Hurricanes (SLOSH) Model, NIST Interagency/Internal Report (NISTIR), National Institute of Standards and Technology, Gaithersburg, MD, [online], (Accessed May 22, 2024)


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Created May 12, 2010, Updated February 19, 2017