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Using global tide gauge data to validate and improve the representation of extreme sea levels in flood impact studies

Citation

Hunter, JR and Woodworth, PL and Wahl, T and Nicholls, RJ, Using global tide gauge data to validate and improve the representation of extreme sea levels in flood impact studies, Global and Planetary Change, 156 pp. 34-45. ISSN 0921-8181 (2017) [Refereed Article]


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DOI: doi:10.1016/j.gloplacha.2017.06.007

Abstract

The largest collection of tide gauge records assembled to date, called GESLA-2, has been used to provide reliable extreme sea level parameters at 655 locations around the world. This has enabled a rigorous assessment of the European Union-funded DINAS-COAST (D-C) data set of extreme sea level information for the global coastline that has been used in many published flood impact studies. We find the D-C extreme levels to be generally both too high, compared to those from GESLA-2, and too flat, when plotted as a function of return period. This leads to an over-estimation of the probability of extreme sea levels in the present day for most locations around the world, and also to an over-estimation of the probability of extreme sea levels in the future as sea level rises. A detailed impact study is conducted for the world's largest coastal cities following the approach of Hallegatte et al. (2013), resulting in similar conclusions for these particular locations. We suggest that most previous studies that have relied upon D-C information should be re-assessed in the light of these findings, using more recent modelling-based estimates of extreme sea level information.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Keywords:extreme sea level parameters, GESLA-2 tide gauge data set, DINAS-COAST data set, major coastal cities flood risk
Research Division:Earth Sciences
Research Group:Oceanography
Research Field:Physical Oceanography
Objective Division:Expanding Knowledge
Objective Group:Expanding Knowledge
Objective Field:Expanding Knowledge in the Earth Sciences
Author:Hunter, JR (Dr John Hunter)
ID Code:122413
Year Published:2017
Deposited By:CRC-Antarctic Climate & Ecosystems
Deposited On:2017-11-13
Last Modified:2017-11-14
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