Brian O. Blanton

Brian O. Blanton
University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill | UNC · Renaissance Computing Institute

PhD

About

64
Publications
11,673
Reads
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1,754
Citations
Citations since 2017
13 Research Items
740 Citations
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2017201820192020202120222023050100150
2017201820192020202120222023050100150
2017201820192020202120222023050100150
Additional affiliations
November 2014 - present
University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
Position
  • Director of Environmental Initiatives
May 2007 - October 2014
University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
Position
  • Senior Researcher
May 2006 - May 2007
SAIC
Position
  • Researcher

Publications

Publications (64)
Article
Full-text available
Surrogate models are becoming increasingly popular for storm surge predictions. Using existing databases of storm simulations, developed typically during regional flood studies, these models provide fast-to-compute, data-driven approximations quantifying the expected storm surge for any new storm (not included in the training database). This paper...
Article
Full-text available
During coastal storms, forecasters and researchers use numerical models to predict the magnitude and extent of coastal flooding. These models must represent the large regions that may be affected by a storm, and thus, they can be computationally costly and may not use the highest geospatial resolution. However, predicted flood extents can be downsc...
Article
Full-text available
Research performed to-date on data assimilation (DA) in storm surge modeling has found it to have limited value for predicting rapid surge responses (e.g., those accompanying tropical cyclones). In this paper, we submit that a well-resolved, barotropic hydrodynamic model is typically able to capture the surge event itself, leaving slower processes...
Article
Full-text available
Formal engineering hurricane evacuation studies have not typically considered inland flooding explicitly, though it has been shown repeatedly to be a major cause of damage and loss of life in hurricanes. In addition, coastal flooding and strong winds are often treated in a decoupled manner, so that the correlation between them is not captured. The...
Article
The amount and extent of coastal flooding caused by hurricanes can be sensitive to the timing or speed of the storm. For storms moving parallel to the coast, the hazards can be stretched over a larger area. Hurricane Matthew was a powerful storm that impacted the southeastern U.S. during October 2016, moving mostly parallel to the coastline from Fl...
Article
The evolution of a hurricane—how the track, intensity, forward speed, and resulting hazard effects on land (strong winds, flooding) develop over its lifetime—is often highly uncertain. Further, the uncertainty is dynamic because it is resolved as events unfold until ultimately the storm's evolution is known completely, and because the ensemble of f...
Article
Storm surge prediction models rely on an accurate representation of the wind conditions. In this paper, we examine the sensitivity of surge predictions to forecast uncertainties in the track and strength of a storm (storm strength is quantified by the power dissipation of the associated wind field). This analysis is performed using Hurricane Arthur...
Article
Full-text available
Hurricane track and intensity can change rapidly in unexpected ways, thus making predictions of hurricanes and related hazards uncertain. This inherent uncertainty often translates into suboptimal decision‐making outcomes, such as unnecessary evacuation. Representing this uncertainty is thus critical in evacuation planning and related activities. W...
Article
This paper develops a bi-level programming model to optimize the issuance of evacuation orders with explicit consideration of (i) the highly uncertain evolution of the storm, and (ii) the complexity of the behavioral reaction to evolving storm conditions. A solution procedure based on progressive hedging is developed. A realistic case study for the...
Article
Great uncertainty surrounds the future track, intensity, and resulting flooding and wind hazards associated with an offshore hurricane. As time progresses, that uncertainty is reduced, but so is the ability to evacuate or carry out other preparations. A quantitative assessment of how quickly the uncertainty is likely to resolve can thus provide use...
Article
Full-text available
Hurricane Sandy made landfall on October 29, 2012, near Brigantine, New Jersey, and had a transformative impact on Staten Island and the New York Metropolitan area. Of the 43 New York City fatalities, 23 occurred on Staten Island. The borough, with a population of approximately 500,000, experienced some of the most devastating impacts of the storm....
Article
Full-text available
During hurricane seasons, emergency managers and other decision makers need accurate and `on-time' information on potential storm surge impacts. Fully dynamical computer models, such as the ADCIRC tide, storm surge, and wind-wave model take several hours to complete a forecast when configured at high spatial resolution. Additionally, statically mea...
Conference Paper
Projected increases in sea level will result in higher flood elevations in the coastal environment. Efforts to assess future flood conditions associated with sea level rise (SLR) commonly apply a linear superposition technique to simply add the projected increase to the existing condition. Past modeling efforts have sought to address changes to flo...
Article
Full-text available
Software underpins most of our daily activities, from banking and finance to interactions with the internet, to weather forecasts and reports. Software also impacts individuals, groups, and societies through policy implementation, since information for decision and policy making is frequently derived from software ranging from climate and weather m...
Article
Full-text available
This paper examines the potential for comparisons of digital science data curation lifecycles to software lifecycle development to provide insight into promoting sustainable science software. The goal of this paper is to start a dialog examining the commonalities, connections, and potential complementarities between the data lifecycle and the softw...
Article
Full-text available
This scientific assessment examines changes in three climate extremes (extratropical storms, winds, and waves), with an emphasis on U.S. coastal regions during the cold season. There is moderate evidence of an increase in both extratropical storm frequency and intensity during the cold season in the Northern Hemisphere since 1950, with suggestive e...
Article
Due to the devastating effects of recent hurricanes in the Gulf of Mexico (e.g., Katrina, Rita, Ike and Gustav), the development of a high-resolution, real-time, total water level prototype system has been accelerated. The fully coupled model system that includes hydrology is an extension of the ADCIRC Surge Guidance System (ASGS), and will hencefo...
Article
On the continental shelf near Cape Hatteras, cool fresh Mid-Atlantic Bight and warm salty South Atlantic Bight shelf waters converge alongshelf 90% of the time, causing strong alongshelf gradients in temperature and salinity known as the 'Hatteras Front'. The resulting density gradient supports strong shoreward velocities in the cross-shelf oriente...
Article
On the continental shelf near Cape Hatteras, cool fresh Mid-Atlantic Bight and warm salty South Atlantic Bight shelf waters converge alongshelf 90% of the time, causing strong alongshelf gradients in temperature, salinity, and density known as the ‘Hatteras Front’. Mechanisms of shoreward transport in this region have long been a topic of interest,...
Article
Full-text available
Storm surge due to hurricanes and tropical storms can result in significant loss of life, property damage, and long-term damage to coastal ecosystems and landscapes. Computer modeling of storm surge is useful for two primary purposes: forecasting of storm impacts for response planning, particularly the evacuation of vulnerable coastal populations;...
Article
Full-text available
Forecasting and prediction of natural events, such as tropical and extra-tropical cyclones, inland flooding, and severe winter weather, provide critical guidance to emergency managers and decision-makers from the local to the national level, with the goal of minimizing both human and economic losses. This guidance is used to facilitate evacuation r...
Conference Paper
Complex science and large volumes of disparate data required for risk analysis of coastal hazards can be very difficult to communicate effectively to government and business decision makers. Including potential future scenarios as a result of climate change complicates matters further. An immersive visualization environment integrating data from hi...
Article
Full-text available
The objective of the Coastal and Inland Flooding Observation and Warning (CI-FLOW) project is to prototype new hydrometeorologic techniques to address a critical NOAA service gap: routine total water level predictions for tidally influenced watersheds. Since February 2000, the project has focused on developing a coupled modeling system to accuratel...
Article
This paper introduces a new method to estimate the long-term regional hurricane wind and storm surge hazard. The output is a relatively small set of hurricane scenarios that together represent the regional hazard. For each scenario, the method produces a hazard-consistent annual occurrence probability, and wind speeds and surge levels throughout th...
Article
Full-text available
The Federal Emergency Management Agency, Region III office, has initiated a study to update the coastal storm surge elevations within the states of Virginia, Maryland, and Delaware, and the District of Columbia including the Atlantic Ocean, Chesapeake Bay including its tributaries, and the Delaware Bay. This effort is one of the most extensive coas...
Article
Full-text available
The Federal Emergency Management Agency, Region III office, has initiated a study to update the coastal storm surge elevations within the states of Virginia, Maryland, and Delaware, and the District of Columbia including the Atlantic Ocean, Chesapeake Bay and its tributaries, and the Delaware Bay. This effort is one of the most extensive coastal st...
Conference Paper
This paper describes the methodology applied to update stillwater elevations along the entire North Carolina coastline as part of the North Carolina Floodplain Mapping Program's effort to produce revised Digital Flood Insurance Rate Maps (DFIRMs) under the FEMA's National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP). The model system is composed of the storm sur...
Conference Paper
This paper provides a brief overview of several ongoing modeling projects that seek to predict the impact of physical features on hurricane storm surge and waves along the Louisiana Gulf Coast. All of the modeling projects described herein make use of a coupled ADCIRC/STWAVE computer model that is being developed specifically for capturing the inun...
Article
Full-text available
A set of model simulations are used to determine the principal forcing mechanisms that resulted in anomalously cold water in the South Atlantic Bight (SAB) in the summer of 2003. Updated mass field and elevation boundary conditions from basin-scale Hybrid Coordinate Ocean Model (HYCOM) simulations are compared to climatological forcing to provide o...
Article
Full-text available
ABSTRACT Lagrangian particle tracking using three-dimensional (3-D) numerical modelling approaches has become an important tool in coastal oceanography. In this note, we describe an approach that can reduce the difference between,observed and numer- ical drifter trajectories in the coastal ocean by including corrections to the water velocity due to...
Article
Lagrangian characterization of continental shelf circulation provides estimates of the retention and transport of particulate and dissolved substances. In this paper, we quantify the retentive characteristics of the Southeast US Continental Shelf by comparing observed and numerical (modeled) drifters released throughout 2000 and 2001. Agreement bet...
Article
Full-text available
: Numerical modeling studies over the past several decades have demonstrated progress both in model architecture and in the use of rapidly advancing computational resources. Perhaps the most notable aspect of this progression has been the evolution from simulations on coarse-resolution horizontal and vertical grids that outline basins of simplified...
Article
The circulation of the tidal front along the Southern Flank of the Georges Bank region during May 1999 is examined for the purpose of understanding the transport of larval fish for periods of days to a week. Assimilation of shipboard ADCP data from several Georges Bank cruises into 3-D models is used to produce the hindcast circulation. Adjustments...
Article
Coastal ocean observing systems that include a nowcast/forecast modeling component are rapidly developing. The prescription of boundary conditions for these shelf-scale, regional models include nearshore buoyancy inputs, tides, and atmospheric fluxes. In principle, these are straightforward. However, fundamental problems remain in the initializatio...
Article
Full-text available
1] The characteristics of the principal barotropic diurnal and semidiurnal tides are examined for the South Atlantic Bight (SAB) of the eastern United States coast. We combine recent observations from pressure gauges and ADCPs on fixed platforms and additional short-term deployments off the Georgia and South Carolina coasts together with National O...
Article
Full-text available
This paper addresses shelf-scale simulation with dominant open-water boundary conditions obtained by in- version of interior data. Important, established operational data streams are located along the shore of the study area, in areas influenced strongly by the local geometry. Failure to properly resolve the modeled near field surrounding these dat...
Article
Full-text available
Monthly circulation of the South Atlantic Bight is diagnosed using a 3-D, shallow water, finite element model forced with monthly wind stress and hydrographic climatology. Temperature and salinity observations from the period 1950-1999 are objectively interpolated onto the model domain, and Comprehensive Ocean-Atmosphere Data Set (COADS) wind veloc...
Article
The dynamical balances at shallow tidal inlets are highly nonlinear, and can vary substantially over sub-kilometer scales. In this study, barotropic dynamics are examined with numerical experiments on a series of idealized inlets with differing inlet widths and lengths. Circulation and elevation fields obtained from fully nonlinear depth-integrated...
Article
Barotropic tides in the South Atlantic Bight of the eastern United States coast are examined using a combination of recent observations of pressure and velocity from a permanent coastal ocean observing system and shorter term instrument deployments in the region. The data extent from near-shore to shelf-break and cover the region from Onslow Bay, N...
Article
A multidisciplinary field experiment was conducted to compare water properties, larval abundances, and transport and retention processes at Beaufort Inlet and two channels leading to the estuarine nursery grounds. Temperature, salinity and subsurface pressure were monitored in situ for a six-week period during March and April 1996 in each channel....
Article
Full-text available
Using an individual-based model approach we consider trophodynamic effects on the growth and survival of larval cod (Gadus morhua) and haddock (Melanogrammus aeglefinus) on Georges Bank during late winter/early spring. These studies represent an extension of results described in Werner et al. (1996; Deep-Sea Res. II), wherein the effect of turbulen...
Article
Full-text available
Real-time oceanic forecasts were constructed at sea on Georges Bank during Spring 1999. Ship- and shore-based computations were combined to deliver daily 3-day forecasts to shipboard scientists for interpreting observations and planning operations. Data assimilated included acoustic Doppler current profiler velocities, drifter trajectories, and tax...
Article
Full-text available
Fish species such as Atlantic menhaden (Brevoortia tyrannus) must often transit relatively small barrier island inlets to move from their continental shelf spawning grounds to estuarine nurseries, where they spend their juvenile phase. Physical transport through these inlets is strongly influenced by tides, winds, local geometry and bathymetry, and...
Article
In March 1996 two surveys of larval fish abundance and water flow were carried out within the estuarine region near Beaufort Inlet, NC. Each survey extended over two full semidiurnal tidal cycles and included measurements of larvae concentration and velocity distribution at several locations. There was a large across-channel variation in the subtid...
Article
Present theory suggests that population regulation in marine fishes cannot be resolved until an understanding of the processes involved in shaping the overall distribution (the number of populations, geographical extent, mean abundance and temporal changes in abundance) is developed. Here, we present a step toward understanding Atlantic menhaden po...
Article
A three-dimensional circulation model was used in conjunction with larval fish vertical behaviour models to study the interaction between larval vertical distribution, advection and the outcome of larval transport along the central portion of the east coast of the United States. The circulation model was forced by tides, a northern boundary inflow,...
Article
Atlantic menhaden (Brevoortia tyrannus) is an estuarine-dependent fish that spawns in coastal waters of the Middle and South Atlantic Bights. Circulation modelling studies of larval transport suggest that recruitment of larvae into the Albemarle-Pamlico Estuarine System, North Carolina, is linked to dynamics on the shelf from New York to South Caro...
Article
The circulation over the continental shelf off the southern Middle Atlantic Bight (MAB) and northern South Atlantic Bight (SAB) is examined for the fall and winter periods. Observational data are compared with results from a three-dimensional numerical model to identify the dominant processes on the shelf. By considering wind-forcing, tides, and a...
Article
Four 14-day field experiments were conducted to determine the densities of postlarval white shrimp and blue crab megelopae moving into a tidal inlet along the south-eastern United States. Certain winds directions were statistically associated with peaks in abundance, a result which motivated us to use a high resolution finite-element numerical mode...
Article
A review of the physical processes present in coastal regions and their effect on pelagic stages of flatfish populations is presented. While quantitative understanding of processes affecting cross-shelf transport and exchange continues to be a fundamental problem shared by physical oceanographers and fisheries scientists studying the early life his...
Article
Full-text available
Natural disasters such as hurricanes heavily impact the US East and Gulf coasts. This creates the need for large scale modeling in the areas of meteorology and ocean sciences, coupled with an integrated environment for analysis and information dissemination. In turn, this means there is an increased need for large-scale distributed high performance...
Article
Full-text available
Real-time oceanic forecasts were constructed at sea on Georges Bank during Spring 1999. Ship- and shore- based computations were combined to deliver daily 3- day forecasts to shipboard scientists for interpreting observations and planning operations. Data assimilated included acoustic Doppler current profiler velocities, drifter trajectories, and t...

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