Modeling Applications

The Caro-COOPS modeling system consists of a connected, fully three-dimensional, time dependent, continental margin and estuary coupled hydrodynamic model. The coastal atmosphere and ocean modeling group at North Carolina State University has developed an adaptable grid Coastal and Estuarine Modeling and Environmental Prediction System (CEMEPS), which will be used as the backbone model for the system.

A catalog of 576 storm surge scenarios for each of the coastal areas of Charleston, Beaufort and Myrtle Beach is available at

The architecture of the CEMEPS consists of the optimal mix (yet to be determined) of data acquisition, data assimilation, numerical modeling, and application modules. The numerical modeling module contains a suite of interactively linked atmospheric, oceanic, estuary, and river model components.

The atmospheric component of CEMEPS currently includes the choice of:

  1. the Advanced Regional Prediction System (ARPS, Xue et al., 1995), a mesoscale weather forecast model developed at the University of Oklahoma;
  2. a dynamic or parametric hurricane model (such as the GFDL hurricane model and the Holland hurricane wind model, Holland, 1980);
  3. real-time wind analysis; and
  4. the optimal combination of real-time wind analysis and a parametric hurricane model.

Additional mesoscale weather forecast models, including the NCEP Eta Model, the UO Advanced Regional Prediction Model (ARP), the PSU Mesoscale Model version 5 (MM5), and the Weather Research and Forecasting model (WRF), have been added to the choice of atmospheric models. NASA NSCAT winds and NOAA’s NWS precipitation data will also be obtained and applied as forcing to the model. The complete atmospheric module provides wind and pressure forcing for the storm surge model and the wave model.

The oceanic modeling component is a coupled wave-current-tide simulation system, consisting principally of the Princeton University Ocean Model (POM) that is interactively coupled to a third generation wave model called WAM Cycle4 (Xie et al., 2001) and an inundation modeling program (Peng et al., 2002). A shallow water wave model using an improved coupling formulation developed by Guan and Sun (2001) is being incorporated into the wave-current coupled modeling system for the entire coastal region of South Atlantic Bight. Tides are simulated via specified lateral boundary conditions that contain tidal information. Topex-Poseidon Altimeter data can also be ported into the model as appropriate. The output from the oceanic module includes a distribution map of storm surge elevation and inundation, surface and subsurface current fields, significant wave height and frequency fields, and tidal elevation and currents. These model data are provided as input to application modules.


Guan, C. and Q. Sun, 2001: Analysis of wind wave growth relations and tier support to the 3/2 power law. J. Ocean Univ. Qingdao, 31, 633-639.

Holland , G.J. 1980. An analytic model of the wind and pressure profiles in hurricanes. Monthly Weather Review, 108, 1212-1218.

Peng, M.C., L. Xie, and L.J. Pietrafesa. 2002. A dynamically consistent and volume preserving wetting and drying scheme for coastal model applications. Submitted to J. Geophysical Research.

Xie, L., K. Wu, L.J. Pietrafesa, and C. Zhang, 2001: A numerical study of wave-current interaction through surface and bottom stresses: wind-driven circulation in the South Atlantic bight under uniform winds. J. Geophys. Res., 106, 16841-16855.

Xue, M., K. K. Droegemeier, V. Wong, A. Shapiro, and K. Brewster, 1995: ARPS Version 4.0 User's Guide. Center for Analysis and Prediction of Storms, Univ. of Oklahoma, 380pp.

Modeling Applications
Storm Surge Demonstration