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

Hunter, J.R.; Woodworth, P.L.; Wahl, T.; Nicholls, R.J.. 2017 Using global tide gauge data to validate and improve the representation of extreme sea levels in flood impact studies. Global and Planetary Change, 156. 34-45. 10.1016/j.gloplacha.2017.06.007

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© 20xx Elsevier B.V. This is the author’s version of a work that was accepted for publication in Global and Planetary Change. Changes resulting from the publishing process, such as peer review, editing, corrections, structural formatting, and other quality control mechanisms may not be reflected in this document. Changes may have been made to this work since it was submitted for publication. A definitive version was/will be published in Global and Planetary Change doi:10.1016/j.gloplacha.2017.06.007
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Abstract/Summary

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 Type: Publication - Article
Digital Object Identifier (DOI): 10.1016/j.gloplacha.2017.06.007
ISSN: 09218181
Date made live: 13 Sep 2017 09:25 +0 (UTC)
URI: http://nora.nerc.ac.uk/id/eprint/517781

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