Date of Award

5-2022

Document Type

Thesis

Degree Name

M.S.

Department

Civil, Coastal, and Environmental Engineering

Committee Chair

Dr. Stephanie M. Patch, P.E.

Abstract

Barrier islands are low lying coastal islands that experience extreme morphological impacts due to coastal storms. As sea levels rise, barrier islands experience higher impacts due to storm waves propagating on top of elevated water levels and reaching further inland. This study focuses on Dauphin Island, which is one of the barrier islands in the Mississippi-Alabama barrier island chain located 6.5 kilometers off the coast of Mobile County, Alabama. Due to its low elevation and narrow width, the community of Dauphin Island presents a concern for sea level rise at the study site. With this concern, five different strategies to adapt to sea level rise were implemented in a numerical model to simulate the impacts of storm surge and waves considering six sea level rise scenarios. This study uses XBeach, a morphodynamic numerical model, to simulate the hydrodynamics of Hurricane Nate. The results show that as sea levels increase, the island begins to experience island rollover reducing the effects of morphological damage observed for each strategy. While the impacts are reduced, the island becomes inundated making the island uninhabitable unless other strategies are considered.

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