Extreme Hurricane Surge Estimation for Texas Coastal Bridges Using Dimensionless Surge Response Functions
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Since the devastating hurricane seasons of 2004, 2005, and 2008, the stability and serviceability of coastal bridges during and following hurricane events have become a main public concern. Twenty coastal bridges, critical for hurricane evacuation and recovery efforts, in Texas have been identified as vulnerable to hurricane surge and wave action. To accurately assess extreme surges at these bridges, a dimensionless surge response function methodology was adopted. The surge response function defines maximum surge in terms of hurricane meteorological parameters such as hurricane size, intensity, and landfall location. The advantage of this approach is that, given a limited set of discrete hurricane surge data (either observed or simulated), all possible hurricane surges within the meteorological parameter space may be described. In this thesis, we will first present development of the surge response function methodology optimized to include the influence of regional continental shelf geometry. We will then demonstrate surge response function skill for surge prediction by comparing results with surge observations for Hurricanes Carla (1961) and Ike (2008) at several stations along the coast. Finally, we apply the improved surge response function methodology to quantify extreme surges for Texas coastal bridge probability and vulnerability assessment.
Song, Youn Kyung (2009). Extreme Hurricane Surge Estimation for Texas Coastal Bridges Using Dimensionless Surge Response Functions. Master's thesis, Texas A&M University. Available electronically from