Dr. Masters presented a seminar titled “Collecting surface wind and water data in extreme hydrodynamic conditions during tropical cyclone landfall: The Sentinel Project”.
The presentation will describe a new effort to measure surface wind, hydrodynamic, erosion, and water quality conditions in the hurricane core at the coastal transition. In this region, storm surge and waves frequently restrict or deny data collection, exactly at the time when operational and research interests need them most. The Sentinel is a new class of measurement station designed to (a) withstand the extreme forces caused by wind, flood currents, and shoaling waves and (b) accommodate a broad range of instruments that measure key variables that define impact to a coastal community, e.g., wind speed, stillwater depth, wave height and direction, erosion, and biological/chemical properties associated with environmental and ecological degradation (e.g., pollutants from a petrochemical spill, agricultural waste). Livestreamed video will complement these data. The Florida Coastal Monitoring Program— which has conducted field experiments in 38 named storms, including 11 major hurricanes, since the late 1990s—is leading the design, prototyping, and initial deployment of the Sentinels. However, the aspirational goal is to create a network of universities and state/federal partners to jointly deploy 12-15 Sentinels along the coast from the center of the storm track to nominally twice the radius of maximum winds. The presentation will also cover the expected logistical challenges arising from collecting data in the littoral zone and how the data can inform operational and research efforts. Calibrating SFMR measurements in < 30 m water and validating wind field intensity and storm surge forecasts will be central to that discussion.
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