Sea Level Rise

Global models indicate that California will see substantial sea level rise during this century, with the exact magnitude depending on such factors as, global emissions, rate at which oceans absorb heat, melting rates and movement of land-based ice sheets, and local coastal land subsidence or uplift.


This data provides a realistic simulation of inundation location and depth during near likely storm events coupled with projected Sea Level Rise scenarios of 0.5 m, 1 m and 1.41 m. The modeling simulates how water flows realistically across the landscape during an event by integrating very high resolution digital surface models and objects on the earth’s surface likely to impede the flow of water, such as buildings, with hydrodynamic simulation of water level fluctuations using 3Di, a hydrodynamic model.

Modeling inputs:

  • Real, time-series water level data from past (near 100-year) storm events to capture the dynamic effect of storm surges from numerous monitoring stations.
  • High resolution Light Detection and Ranging (LiDAR) data from NOAA California Coastal LIDAR Project and California DWR.
  • Bathymetry and other elevation data from the National Elevation Dataset
  • Surface object elevations, e.g. built structures such as buildings (only for the Bay and Delta).

The San Francisco Bay and Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta are modeled at spatial resolutions ranging from 3 to 12 m2. Due to the large extent of the California Coast, it is modeled at a coarser resolution of 50 m2 and does not include surface object elevations.

Data shown in this tool is a mosaic of the original source layers and shows maximum innundation depth during a storm event. Read more about it in About and Data sections.

Sea Level Rise: Cal-Adapt, Satellite: © Mapbox © OpenStreetMap © DigitalGlobe

About The Tool

This data provides predicted innundation location and depth for the San Francisco Bay, the Sacramento-San Joaquin River Delta and California coast resulting from different sea level rise and likey future storm events. This research is unique and innovative in its dynamic spatial detail and the fact that it incorporates real, timeseries water level data from past (near 100 year) storm events to capture the dynamic effect of storm surges in modeling inundation using 3Di, a three dimensional hydrodynamic model along with high resolution earth surface models. Details are described in Radke et al., 2016

Radke, J. D., G. S. Biging, M. Schmidt-Poolman, H. Foster, E. Roe, Y. Ju, O. Hoes, T. Beach, A. Alruheil, L. Meier, W. Hsu, R. Neuhausler, W. Fourt (University of California, Berkeley). 2016. An Assessment of the Climate Change Vulnerability of the Natural Gas Transmission Infrastructure for the San Francisco Bay Area, Sacramento—San Joaquin Delta, and Coastal California. California Energy Commission. (In press)

Stelling, G. S. (2012). Quadtree flood simulations with sub-grid digital elevation models. Proceedings of the ICE - Water Management, 165(10), 567–580.

Data Sources

berkeley logo

Innundation Depth Layer Mosaics for San Francisco Bay, Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta and California Coast

University of California, Berkeley

Cal-Adapt provides inundation depth mosaics derived from the original source layers. The mosacis are produced by first, resampling the innundation depth layer for each tile to 3 m2 resolution for the Bay and Delta, 50 m2 for the Coast. Second, depth values (in m) in a layer are rounded to 3 decimal places. Finally, mosaics are assembled as maximum of source layers. Original source layers can be downloaded from this link.