Changes in the flooding area due to storm surge under climate change in an extensive wetland area in the southern Gulf of Mexico (edited by Dr. Christian Appendini)

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Ovel Díaz-García
Jorge Zavala-Hidalgo
Pascal Douillet
Adolfo Contreras Ruiz-Esparza
Renaud Fichez
Christian Grenz
Lionel Denis


Floods caused by intense cold fronts and how they could change under different scenarios of sea level rise in the Terminos Lagoon, Mexico, are studied through the analysis of observations and numerical simulations. The numerical ocean model used is the Finite-Volume Community Ocean Model (FVCOM) of the Marine Ecosystem Dynamics Modeling Laboratory of the University of Massachusetts-Dartmouth, and the meteorological forcing comes from high-resolution simulations with the Weather Research and Forecasting model (WRF). The ocean simulations were carried out using unstructured meshes with the possibility of flooding and drying in their cells. Results of the numerical simulations were compared against observations. Considering the current mean sea level, an intense northern cold front event (or Norte) floods an area of 940 km2 that is currently covered by mangroves. This indicates that Nortes are important in the irrigation of extensive mangrove areas. Under scenarios of sea level rise of 0.25, 0.50 and 0.75 m the flooded areas increase by 297, 1062 and 2152 km2, representing a considerable increase in the areas flooded at Isla del Carmen. It is suggested to consider this situation in long-term planning.


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