Validating citizen watch

SCHISM’s storm tide forecasts provide surge guidance for the legacy VIMS Tidewatch Charts sensor-based tidal prediction platform, while simultaneously providing an interactive and operationally functional forecast mapping tool with hourly temporal resolution and a 5 m spatial resolution throughout the coastal plain of Virginia, USA.

This manuscript delves into the hydrodynamic modeling and geospatial methods used at VIMS to automate the 36-h street-level flood forecasts currently available via Tidewatch Maps, and the paradigm-altering efforts involved in validating the spatial, vertical, and temporal accuracy of the model.

Hampton Roads, VA, USA experiences tidal nuisance flooding 12 to 18 times a year [28].

This is a frequency that amounts to no less than one cumulative week per year that low-lying streets in the region are inundated [29,30].

Mobile flood mapping platforms and applications have recently become information repositories that provide a living data archive of flood observation data with sufficient recording frequency and data density in urban areas where flooding is prevalent [25].

However, these tools have been shown to be of less utility in rural coastal areas, where statistically, less people are present and motivated to vigilantly monitor inundation, and where enhanced-GPS signal strength is diminished due to less reliable cellular broadband coverage [26].

This includes occluded areas in heavily canopied flood-prone areas and built infrastructure, such as box culverts, highway overpasses, and bridges that impact proper hydrologic drainage in flooding conditions [27].

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or remote water level observing systems, these factors can limit sensor density when even finer scale data are needed, and therefore impede these systems’ ability to accurately monitor fine-scale environmental conditions [8,10].While not a panacea for all inundation monitoring needs, citizen scientists can augment and enhance traditional research and monitoring.Their interest and engagement in flooding resiliency issues can markedly increase spatial and temporal frequency along with an effective duration of sampling.Changes in the eustatic sea level have enhanced the impact of inundation events in the coastal zone, ranging in significance from tropical storm surges to pervasive nuisance flooding events.The increased frequency of these inundation events has stimulated the production of interactive web-map tracking tools to cope with changes in our changing coastal environment.

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