Science lab

Coastal Dynamics

Sea levels are rising. We develop coastal flood hazard information and guidance that can support local decision-making.

Maine has committed to managing 1.5 feet of sea level rise in 2050 and 4.0 feet in 2100. What does this mean about flood risk to communities’ local coastal infrastructure and ecosystems? Our lab studies changes in mean and extreme coastal and estuarine water levels to support coastal management, flood forecasting and preparedness, and state rule-making.

We aim to:

  • Characterize coastal and estuarine flood risk at the local scale.
  • Develop technical guidance, tools, and trainings that translate science to support coastal resilience.

Lab Team

Our Methods

Our lab seeks to quantify present and future flood hazard at the local scale.

We use a combination of observational and statistical techniques to characterize coastal and estuarine flood hazard. We develop statistical models that quantify the evolution of flood hazard over time based on long-term tide gauge records, flood models, and sea level projections. We also install tide gauges that support flood forecasting and development of local flood impact thresholds. A key part of our work is also translating the range of coastal flooding datasets and sea level rise projections into technical guidance, decision-support tools, and trainings to support resilient adaptation.

  • Statistical Modeling
  • Water level monitoring
  • Knowledge mobilization
  • Interdisciplinary collaboration

Research Lab Projects

In this edition of Gulf of Maine, Explained, GMRI researcher Dr. Hannah Baranes talks about how we can use the predictability of tides to better forecast flooding caused by storms as sea levels continue to rise.

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