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Open AccessArticle

Using Satellite Altimetry to Calibrate the Simulation of Typhoon Seth Storm Surge off Southeast China

State Key Laboratory of Satellite Ocean Environment Dynamics, Second Institute of Oceanography, State Oceanic Administration, Hangzhou 310012, China
Fisheries and Oceans Canada, Northwest Atlantic Fisheries Centre, St. John’s, NL A1C 5X1, Canada
State Key Laboratory of Marine Environmental Science, Xiamen University, Xiamen 361005, China
Center for Remote Sensing, College of Earth, Ocean and Environment, University of Delaware, Newark, DE 19716, USA
Authors to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Remote Sens. 2018, 10(4), 657;
Received: 26 February 2018 / Revised: 12 April 2018 / Accepted: 13 April 2018 / Published: 23 April 2018
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Satellite Altimetry for Earth Sciences)
Satellite altimeters can capture storm surges generated by typhoons and tropical storms, if the satellite flies over at the right time. In this study, we show TOPEX/Poseidon altimeter-observed storm surge features off Southeast China on 10 October 1994 during Typhoon Seth. We then use a three-dimensional, barotropic, finite-volume community ocean model (FVCOM) to simulate storm surges. An innovative aspect is that satellite data are used to calibrate the storm surge model to improve model performance, by adjusting model wind forcing fields (the National Center for Environment Prediction (NCEP) reanalysis product) in reference to the typhoon best-track data. The calibration reduces the along-track root-mean-square (RMS) difference between model and altimetric data from 0.15 to 0.10 m. It also reduces the RMS temporal difference from 0.21 to 0.18 m between the model results and independent tide-gauge data at Xiamen. In particular, the calibrated model produces a peak storm surge of 1.01 m at 6:00 10 October 1994 at Xiamen, agreeing with tide-gauge data; while the peak storm surge with the NCEP forcing is 0.71 m only. We further show that the interaction between storm surges and astronomical tides contributes to the peak storm surge by 34% and that the storm surge propagates southwestward as a coastally-trapped Kelvin wave. View Full-Text
Keywords: storm surge; satellite altimetry; calibration; numerical modelling; FVCOM storm surge; satellite altimetry; calibration; numerical modelling; FVCOM
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Li, X.; Han, G.; Yang, J.; Chen, D.; Zheng, G.; Chen, N. Using Satellite Altimetry to Calibrate the Simulation of Typhoon Seth Storm Surge off Southeast China. Remote Sens. 2018, 10, 657.

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