Sea-level Rise and Coastal Hazards

Many of CCCIA's research projects focus on the threat of sea level rise. We observe, model, and forecast the physical processes of waves and coastal flooding, and work closely with local stakeholders to understand how future changes in sea level will impact coastal infrastructure and communities.

Research Projects

MURI: Sea-Level Rise in the Indo-Pacific Region


Research project investigating sea level rise, climate impacts, and adaptation trends at naval base study sites in the INDOPAC region to build a transferrable decision-making framework.

Lead:  Dr. Mark Merrifield

Collaborators:  USGS, NOAA, University of Cantabria, Penn State, Oregon State University, Harvard Graduate School of Design, NAVFAC, ONR

ESTCP: Updates to DoD Regional Sea Level Database


Modeling and analysis study to provide recommendations for updates and expansions to the DoD Regional Sea Level (DRSL) database in support of resilient strategies for facilities management, emergency planning, and regional operations in a changing climate.

Lead:  Dr. Mark Merrifield

Collaborators:  NOAA, University of Cantabria, UC Boulder, Florida International University, Oregon State University, USGS

Resilient Futures: Imperial Beach


Research efforts to support the City of Imperial Beach to better understand what conditions cause coastal and groundwater flooding hazards, provide enhanced flood forecasting and to develop data and science to better prepare the community for sea-level rise. 

Lead:  Dr. Mark Merrifield

Collaborators:  Imperial Beach, San Diego State University (Dr Davani and Dr. Welsh),  Copley Foundation, CDIP, Coastal Processes Group

Project website and flood forecasts:

Resilient Futures: San Diego Bay

San Diego Bay

Ongoing observations and modeling research to enhance understanding of water level extremes, wave energy and potential flooding today and with increasing sea-level rise in San Diego Bay. 

Lead:  Dr. Mark Merrifield

Collaborators:  Port of San Diego, San Diego Airport, San Diego Gas & Electric, U.S. Navy Base Coronado, U.S. Coast Guard, Coastal Processes Group

Coastal Hazards Trends in Southern California


A historic and current assessment of extreme water levels, flooding occurrences, and wave energy to improve predictive and forecasting of coastal hazards as sea levels rise.   

Leads:  Dr. Mark Merrifield, Laura Engeman

Collaborators:  California Sea Grant, Southern California Edison, CDIP, Coastal Processes Group