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Coastal Wave, Surge, and Sediment Transport Predictions over Galveston Bay: Application to Environmental Health

November 01, 2018
3:00 pm - 4:00 pm

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Dr. James Kaihatu
Professor & Associate Department Head for Research
Zachry Department of Civil Engineering
Texas A&M University


Abstract: A recently-established Superfund research center at Texas A&M University School of Veterinary Medicine is centered on the toxicological and environmental effects of contaminated sediment movement and deposition in the vicinity of Galveston Bay and the Houston Ship Channel. In such a scenario, sediment from capped sites in Galveston Bay would be suspended and mobilized into neighborhoods surrounding the industrial complex around the Port of Houston due to hurricane-driven waves and surge. A central mission of the center is to develop prediction tools for determining the extent to which the sediment would mobilize and deposit, thus allowing for rapid deployment of mitigation measures. The Delft3D model for waves, hydrodynamics, sediment transport and water quality is applied to the Gulf of Mexico and Galveston Bay. Forcing from both historical (e.g., Hurricane Ike) and synthetic storm events are used to simulate sediment transport and deposition into vulnerable neighborhoods. Preliminary simulations using terrain databases for representing bathymetry and land will be used, and further augmented with GIS information on urban infrastructure.

Bio: Dr. James Kaihatu is a Professor and Associate Department Head for Research in the Zachry Department of Civil Engineering at Texas A&M University. Prior to joining the university in 2006, he spent 11 years (1995-2006) as a research oceanographer with the Naval Research Laboratory (NRL) at Stennis Space Center, MS. Prior employment also includes a postdoctoral fellowship at NRL in Washington, DC (1994-1995) and a position as a hydraulic engineering at the Coastal Engineering Research Center, US Army Waterways Experiment Station in Vicksburg, MS (1987-1989). His research focus has been on nearshore nonlinear wave dynamics and modeling; wave propagation over cohesive sediment; surge and sediment transport; and numerical and laboratory modeling of tsunami propagation. His work has been supported by the National Science Foundation, the US Army Corps of Engineers, the Office of Naval Research, and the Qatar National Research Fund, among others. He earned a B.S. from California State Polytechnic University (1986); an M.S. from the University of California, Berkeley (1987); and a Ph.D. from the University of Delaware (1994), all in Civil Engineering.


November 1, 2018
3:00 pm - 4:00 pm


Eller O&M Bldg., Room 807