Bacopoulos, P., and Hagen, S.C., 2014. Dynamic considerations of sea-level rise with respect to water levels and flooding in Apalachicola Bay.
An examination of sea-level rise impacts on water levels and flooding extent in Florida's Apalachicola Bay and the nearby region was carried out using forcing conditions from Hurricane Dennis under multiple sea-level rise scenarios. A comparison of the modeled water levels at the inlets of the bay was conducted to determine if the trend in water levels at the inlets was linear or nonlinear in relation to increasing sea-level rise. Hydrodynamic simulations for five scenarios were performed, including a present-day (control) scenario reflecting current sea levels and four possible future sea-level rise scenarios. Water level distributions and flooding throughout the bay with either dynamic or static sea-level rise were compared, and the effects of nonlinearity in the hydrodynamic responses were measured using a normalized nonlinearity index. This analysis highlights the importance of considering the two-dimensional spatial distribution in water levels when examining the consequences of sea-level rise, as analyses of hydrographs at point locations can overlook important subtleties throughout the domain. The results of this study provide a fuller representation of possible responses of Apalachicola Bay to sea-level rise, taking into account the combined context of water-level nonlinearity and flooding extent.