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Coastal Trapping and Funneling Effects on Storm Surges in the Meghna Estuary in Relation to Cyclones Hitting Noakhali–Cox’s Bazar Coast of Bangladesh

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  • 1 Laboratory of Coastal Engineering, Department of Civil Engineering, Gifu University, Gifu, Japan
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Abstract

Studies are described that use a fine-resolution numerical model and incorporate the islands and detailed bottom topography of the Meghna estuary. They show that depending on the characteristics of the atmospheric cyclone and the astronomical tide, storm surges can be coastal trapped in the Meghna estuary and propagate like edge waves along the coastline causing widespread devastation and enormous loss of life and property. The funneling effect of the narrowing estuary acts strongly on the pressure response and predominantly in the region north of Sandwip Island. The combination of coastal trapping and the funneling effect results in the widespread nature of the surges in the Meghna estuary. The widespread nature of the surges is directly proportional to the wind inflow angle and to the radius of maximum cyclonic wind, but inversely proportional to the angle of crossing of the cyclone as made with the coastline. The cyclone striking the Noakhali–Chittagong coast produces more widespread surges than does a cyclone striking the Chittagong–Cox’s Bazar coast. A rapidly moving cyclone drives the surges toward the northern coast. If a cyclone strikes during the ebb tide phase, then nonlinear tide–surge interaction also generates separate surges far to the west in the Khepupara region.

Corresponding author address: Dr. Junaid Amin As-Salek, c/o Prof. A.K.M. Aminul Haque, 5/9 Lalmatia (First Floor), Block D, Dhaka-1207, Bangladesh.

Email: junaid@cc.gifu-u.ac.jp

Abstract

Studies are described that use a fine-resolution numerical model and incorporate the islands and detailed bottom topography of the Meghna estuary. They show that depending on the characteristics of the atmospheric cyclone and the astronomical tide, storm surges can be coastal trapped in the Meghna estuary and propagate like edge waves along the coastline causing widespread devastation and enormous loss of life and property. The funneling effect of the narrowing estuary acts strongly on the pressure response and predominantly in the region north of Sandwip Island. The combination of coastal trapping and the funneling effect results in the widespread nature of the surges in the Meghna estuary. The widespread nature of the surges is directly proportional to the wind inflow angle and to the radius of maximum cyclonic wind, but inversely proportional to the angle of crossing of the cyclone as made with the coastline. The cyclone striking the Noakhali–Chittagong coast produces more widespread surges than does a cyclone striking the Chittagong–Cox’s Bazar coast. A rapidly moving cyclone drives the surges toward the northern coast. If a cyclone strikes during the ebb tide phase, then nonlinear tide–surge interaction also generates separate surges far to the west in the Khepupara region.

Corresponding author address: Dr. Junaid Amin As-Salek, c/o Prof. A.K.M. Aminul Haque, 5/9 Lalmatia (First Floor), Block D, Dhaka-1207, Bangladesh.

Email: junaid@cc.gifu-u.ac.jp

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