Coastal flood study methods and the specific modeling software used are tailored to the coastline characteristics and the nature of coastal flood events.
For example, the Wave Height Analysis for Flood Insurance Studies (WHAFIS) model is used for analyses of low-lying areas subject to overland flooding and waves. However, WHAFIS is not appropriate for analysis of coastal dune or bluff areas that are subject to erosion and wave runup; other procedures and models are used in these areas. Some studies consider hurricane effects while others consider northeasters or Pacific storms or tsunamis; some studies consider multiple flood types. Great Lakes studies consider fluctuating lake levels and ice cover.
However, all coastal flood studies:
- Include the effects of tides, storm surges and waves;
- Consider historical coastal flood events that have affected the study area;
- Use historical data to validate flood, wave and erosion analyses; and
- Determine the flood level with a 1-% chance of being equaled or exceeded in any given year.