Sea level rise impacts, modeling and field data collection

Tiffany Anderson

In this project, we investigate the impacts of sea level rise on coastal areas, and try to understand how individual sources of coastal hazards (waves, groundwater, rainfall, etc.) interact with each other to contribute to overall hazards, to better inform coastal managers and stakeholders.  Collection of new data is an integral component of this effort, and we look to augment our current field methods by exploring new and affordable ways of capturing beach and nearshore properties in a notoriously challenging environment.


Geologic origin and evolution of atoll islands, coastal wetlands, and reefs under Pacific sea levels

Haunani Kane

In 2018 the coastal geology group traveled 480 nm to Lalo (French Frigate Shoals) to assess the impacts of sea level rise upon the low lying atoll islands in Papahānaumokuākea. Shortly after their visit, a category 3 Hurricane nearly erased some of the atoll islands at Lalo. Using geologic reef cores, and island sediment samples we interpret the formation and evolution of atoll islands in response to 3,000 years of storms and sea level change. Satellite imagery, and UAS derived 3D models are used to assess more recent impacts related to storms and sea level change. Through this approach, we hope to provide an example of how kupuna (ancestral) coral and sediment can be used to improve understanding of how islands and island people may be impacted in the future by changes in climate.


Geospatial analysis and modeling

Matt Barbee


Using WRF to assess hydrological flooding under higher sea levels

Kayla Yamamoto


Modeling SLR impacts using ROMS

Taylor Viti

To assess how Hawaiʻi’s flooding hazards are influenced by sea level rise, we are developing coastal-scale models that incorporate coupled ocean circulation, wave, and atmosphere modeling components. This project focuses on the storm-tide driven flooding hazard component of the larger research effort.


Coastal monitoring using Unmanned Aerial Systems (UAS)

Kristian McDonald

Developing monitoring methodologies using unmanned aerial systems (UAS, aka drones) to provide insight regarding beach variability at high spatial and temporal resolutions.


Beach conservation and backshore land use

Kammie Tavares

This project is working to understand patterns of historical shoreline change, backshore land use and hard shorelines today and in several sea level rise scenarios to improve management practices that affect beach conservation.


Interannual beach variability and nearshore sand variability

Anna Mikkelsen

A continued monitoring effort of Waikīkī Beach using remote sensing platforms while also incorporating nearshore sand dynamics to gain a better understanding of the beach system as a whole.


Probabilistic SLR flood modeling using ROMS reanalysis

Noah Paoa Kannegiesser

Determining the probability of coastal flooding based on sea level variability in different scenarios of sea level rise


Beach evolution in response to seasonal wave events

Julianne Kalksma

Continuing a third year of coastal monitoring of Waikīkī Beach with the intention of understanding the relationship between wave forcing and beach changes over this period.


Development of a Coastal Groundwater Monitoring Network in Honolulu’s Primary Urban Center, O‘ahu, Hawai‘i

Shellie Habel

Development of an expanded coastal groundwater monitoring network for use in improving simulations of present and future groundwater inundation (GWI)