Date of Award

Fall 2017

Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)


Civil & Environmental Engineering

Committee Director

Navid Tahvildari

Committee Member

Ma Gangfeng

Committee Member

Necit Cetin


In this thesis, a hydrodynamic model was developed to study the vulnerability of the transportation infrastructure in the Hampton Roads region of Virginia to storm surge flooding under sea level rise. The Hampton Roads region is the second most affected area by relative sea level rise in the United States. The hydrodynamic model was validated for tide prediction, and its performance in storm surge simulation was validated with data from Hurricane Irene (2011). The developed model was then applied to eight flood-prone bridges in the transportation network that connect the cities of Norfolk, Hampton, Virginia Beach, Chesapeake and Portsmouth; the extent, intensity, and duration of storm surge inundation under different sea level rise (SLR) scenarios was estimated. Furthermore, the difference between the results of the model and the simplistic “bathtub” approach in estimating flooding was highlighted.


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