Hydraulics & Waterways


394016 - Hurricane-Induced Storm Surge on Lake Okeechobee, Florida

Wednesday, June 6
2:00 PM - 3:30 PM
Location: Greenway CD

Lake Okeechobee, located in central southern Florida, is the second largest freshwater lake in the USA, covers 730 square miles. With a long fetch, a relatively shallow depth of 8.9 feet, it is easily disturbed by wind events. Hurricanes Frances, Jeanne, Wilma, and Irma passed over this lake in September 2004, October 2005, and September 2017, respectively. This study assesses the hurricane-induced storm surge on the lake. Strong winds from these storms caused a large surface storm surge on the lake, resulting in erosion damage to the surrounding dike, and to water level monitoring stations located on tributary canals. The lake stage, monitored at several locations inside the lake and at water control structures surrounding it, show different patterns of setup and setdown during different storms, both in terms of the phase and magnitude of the peak surge. For Hurricanes Frances, Jeanne, and Wilma, the water first setdown, then setup and then setdown again while for Hurricane Irma, interestingly, only a setup is observed at the monitoring stations nearby the track of the storm. The observed stage data show hurricane-induced storm surge in a relatively shallow lake is very sensitive to storm direction and location of the track relative to the lake. The data also suggest that the hurricane-induced storm surge can play a key role in erosion damages to the dike surrounding the lake and at water control structures discharging into the lake.

Seyed Hajimirzaie, PhD, PE, PH

South Florida Water Management District (SFWMD)

Seyed (“Haji”) Hajimirzaie, Ph.D., P.E., P.H
South Florida Water Management District (SFWMD)
Applied Hydraulics Section

I have received my Ph.D. in Civil and Environmental Engineering from the University of Iowa, IIHR—Hydroscience & Engineering (IIHR). My Ph.D. dissertation was an interdisciplinary study with components of environmental hydraulics as well as sediment transport. Currently, I am a full time employee at Hydrology and Hydraulics (H&H) Bureau at South Florida Water Management District (SFWMD).
Special Fields of Knowledge:
• Experimental Fluid Dynamics, Environmental Hydraulics, River Restoration and Sustainability, Image-Based Flow Velocimetry, Unsteady Flows, Vortex-Dominated Flows, River Hydraulics, Hydraulic Structures, Sediment Transport


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Matahel Ansar

South Florida Water Management District

Since June 2014, Dr. Matahel Ansar is a Section Administrator (Section Chief) for the Applied Hydraulics Section at the South Florida Water Management District, West Palm Beach, Florida. In this position, he provides overall management of the Section, and technical leadership to about twenty three engineers involved in hydraulic design, flow computations at water control structures, flood risk analysis, and investigations of sea level rise challenges in South Florida. This Section also provides operational hydraulics support to the District’s water control center.

Dr. Ansar has a Ph.D. (’97) and an M.S. (’93) in Civil and Environmental Engineering, specializing in Hydraulics from the University of Iowa. He also holds a Bachelor of Science (’91) in Water Resources Management from Central State University, Wilberforce, Ohio. He has about forty five technical publications in the form of refereed journal papers and discussions, conference papers, theses, and technical reports. He is also the past winner of several awards, including the Merit Award from the Arizona Consulting Engineers Association (1998); the Best Discussion Award from the American Society of Civil Engineers Journal of Irrigation and Drainage Engineering (2003); the South Florida Water Management District Leadership Award (2006), the Grand Award from the Florida Engineering Society (2009), and a National Recognition Award from the American Council of Engineering Companies (2009). Dr. Ansar has testified, as a Hydrology and Hydraulics Expert Witness, in several complex litigations. He is also a Registered Professional Engineer in the State of Florida.


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Kang-Ren Jin

Lead Scientist
South Florida Water Management District

Kang-Ren Jin, PhD
Lead Scientist, South Florida Water Management

26 years of experience in hydrology, hydrodynamics, sediment, and environmental modeling
Co-developer of the Lake Okeechobee Environment Model (LOEM)
Charter member of the Engineering Mechanics Institute, ASCE
Graduate Faculty Scholar at the University of Central Florida
Publication: authored/co-authored: 96
Who’s Who in Science Engineering since 1997.


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394016 - Hurricane-Induced Storm Surge on Lake Okeechobee, Florida

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