Simulating the Spatial Impacts of a Coastal Barrier in Galveston Island, Texas: A Three-Dimensional Urban Modeling Approach. Academic Article uri icon


  • Due to its vulnerability to hurricanes, Galveston Island, TX, USA, is exploring the implementation of a coastal surge barrier (also referred to as the "Ike Dike") for protection from severe flood events. This research evaluates the predicted effects that the coastal spine will have across four different storm scenarios, including a Hurricane Ike scenario and 10-year, 100-year, and 500-year storm events with and without a 2.4ft. sea level rise (SLR). To achieve this, we develop a 1:1 ratio, 3-dimensional urban model and ran real-time flood projections using ADCIRC model data with and without the coastal barrier in place. Findings show that inundated area and property damages due to flooding will both significantly decrease if the coastal spine is implemented, with a 36% decrease in the inundated area and $4 billion less in property damage across all storm scenarios, on average. When including SLR, the amount of protection of the Ike Dike diminishes due to flooding from the bay side of the island. While the Ike Dike does appear to offer substantial protection from flooding in the short term, integrating the coastal barrier with other non-structural mechanisms would facilitate more long-term protection when considering SLR.

published proceedings

  • Geomat Nat Hazards Risk

author list (cited authors)

  • Cai, Z., Newman, G., Lee, J., Ye, X., Retcheless, D., Zou, L., & Ham, Y.

citation count

  • 0

complete list of authors

  • Cai, Zhenhang||Newman, Galen||Lee, Jaekyung||Ye, Xinyue||Retcheless, David||Zou, Lei||Ham, Youngjib

publication date

  • December 2023