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Journal Articles Environmental Research Letters Year : 2020

Adaptation time to magnified flood hazards underestimated when derived from tide gauge records

Abstract

Sea-level rise magnifies flood hazards, raising the question when adaptation measures need to be taken. Here, we quantify when the recurrence of extreme water level events will double due to projected sea-level rise. Reproducing the most common method based on extreme water levels observed with tide gauges, at least one third of the coastal locations are to expect a doubling of extremes within a decade. However, tide gauges are commonly placed in wave-sheltered harbours where the contribution of waves to water levels is much smaller than at nearby wave-exposed coastlines such as beaches and dikes. In this study, we quantify doubling times at a variety of idealised shorelines based on modelled tides, storm surges and waves. We apply an extreme value analysis that accounts for the joint probability of extreme storm surges and extreme waves. Our results indicate that doubling times at wave-exposed shorelines are longer than those in wave-sheltered harbours, allowing for more time to adapt to magnified flood hazards. The median doubling times of average water levels including parameterised wave setup are 1.2 to 5 times longer than those of still water levels as observed with tide gauges. For instantaneous water levels including wave run-up, doubling times are an additional 30% to 100% longer. We conclude that tide gauge-based analyses underestimate adaptation times by underestimating the contribution of waves to extreme water levels, and provide a quantitative framework to guide adaptation policy at wave-exposed shorelines.
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Dates and versions

hal-03715018 , version 1 (06-07-2022)

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Erwin Lambert, Jérémy Rohmer, Gonéri Le Cozannet, Roderik S. W. van De Wal. Adaptation time to magnified flood hazards underestimated when derived from tide gauge records. Environmental Research Letters, 2020, 15 (7), pp.074015. ⟨10.1088/1748-9326/ab8336⟩. ⟨hal-03715018⟩

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