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Storm surge impacts on biological resources in the Yukon Kuskokwim Delta 

Project Summary

​Project ID: WA2012_15 ​
Lead Investigator: Tom Ravens, University of Alaska Anchorage
Collaborators: Sarah Saalfeld, Manomet Center for Conservation Sciences
Project Duration: 2012 - 2015

A high spatial resolution storm surge model was developed for the YK Delta area to assess biological impacts of storm surges under current and future climates. Storm surges are expected to be more frequent and more severe in the YK Delta area due to climate change and sea level rise. The biological impacts in the YK Delta due to the changed storm surges could be extreme.

The model was assessed with respect to measured water level data at the coast and, where available, spatial extent of inundation, for 6 storms from the period 1992 to 2011. In total, inundation projections from 9 historical storms (5 from the assessment + 4 others) were developed. For each storm, an spatial inundation index (time-integral of water level during a storm) was calculated. These were combined across the storms, along with storm recurrence interval estimates, to form an annual inundation index. The spatial distribution of the inundation index was strongly associated with mapped vegetation type. The storm simulations were repeated under 3 scenarios of relative sea level rise to investigate potential future inundation levels.  

Data products were also used by project partner Sarah Saalfeld to examine the biological impacts of the storm surges​ on migratory water birds. 


To access these products, click on the title, then click the link in the pop-up window.

Model outputs and data filesData12/29/2017 8:22 PM
AttachmentModel DomainImage7/3/2014 1:35 PM
AttachmentPresentation Slides, 2015 Nov 18Presentation8/23/2016 6:04 PM
AttachmentFinal Report - YK Delta Storm Surge ModelReport12/29/2017 8:14 PM
AttachmentSummary Handout of YK Delta Storm Surge ModelReport12/29/2017 7:55 PM

Related Resources

Project page at the Alaska Climate Science Center

Dr. Ravens homepage​ at UAA