By using observations from real coastal floods and numerical models, researchers simulated coastal floods within the Solent region of the South of England to approximate the consequences of synthetic flood events, using land and property as example measures of potential flood impacts from these hypothetical events.
This is differentiated from existing information available in the Solent, by considering realistic defence responses and failures (overflow, outflanking, wave overtopping, and full breaching) and processes of water spreading across the floodplain.
PhD Researcher Matt Wadey, who worked on the study, explains: "The model allows a regional simulation to be made in 15 minutes across the entire Solent on a standard desktop PC. It also makes rare use of data sets on real events, such as the 10 March 2008 floods, to demonstrate the validity of the results."
Results were generated across a range of wave and still water level conditions over the timescale of one tidal cycle, to enable a view of present-day and 21st century impacts, and indicates the accompanying uncertainties from variations in what may be considered to be 'extreme' water level or wave events at any given time.
The Solent was selected as it provides a varied estuarine and wave exposed case study region. Importantly, it is experiencing a changing level of threat from coastal flooding, due to rising sea levels and new development in low-lying areas – these pressures are expected to continue through this century. Defended and undefended floodplains coexist. This study differed from most coastal flood research as it focused upon analysis of inundation over a region where coastal floodplains are relatively small, and water flowing over defences (overflow and wave overtopping) may be more significant compared to breach (a reduction in the effective crest height).
Simple 'bath-tub' methods (which assume that for a given sea level all areas below the elevation on the adjacent land are submerged),based only on contours, suggest that approximately 24,000 properties in the Solent are exposed to a 1 in 200 year coastal flood, with the largest concentration of risk in Portsmouth. Yet, when using the more realistic methods in this study, 5,000 to 17,000 properties might be flooded depending on how the defences function in these events. Comparison of the results with analysis of historic floods suggested less than 1,000 properties would be likely to suffer serious damage.
However, when viewing these results in the light of rising sea levels, which have been observed at Southampton over the last 75 years; it is apparent that the need to adapt or upgrade defences (or in some instances build new systems altogether) will become imperative as the nature of coastal floods changes with rising sea levels. Overtopping was found to be relatively important compared to breaching in the Solent region because coastal floodplains are small.
Robert Nicholls, Professor of Coastal Engineering who worked on the study, says: "Floods are an important long term risk to society. While society generally adapts to them, this is usually accomplished in response to real events, which can include significant losses and even deaths.
"Sea-level rise is increasing the probability of extreme events in most coastal regions; hence it is essential that methods are available to identify the likelihood and characteristics of flooding. High resolution datasets and numerical tools are currently available for many coastal areas, although are not routinely integrated; particularly where risks are not obvious or recently experienced. Our research provides a method for such integration that can support coastal management measures such as forecasting and warning, defence planning, and land-use zonation. This is intended to provide outputs that are easily communicated to the public and flood managers."
The concepts drawn from this study are transferable to similar coastal regions, whilst this research is ongoing with focus upon further validation and more detailed case studies within the Solent.
Glenn Harris | EurekAlert!
Water - as the underlying driver of the Earth’s carbon cycle
17.01.2017 | Max-Planck-Institut für Biogeochemie
Modeling magma to find copper
13.01.2017 | Université de Genève
An important step towards a completely new experimental access to quantum physics has been made at University of Konstanz. The team of scientists headed by...
Yersiniae cause severe intestinal infections. Studies using Yersinia pseudotuberculosis as a model organism aim to elucidate the infection mechanisms of these...
Researchers from the University of Hamburg in Germany, in collaboration with colleagues from the University of Aarhus in Denmark, have synthesized a new superconducting material by growing a few layers of an antiferromagnetic transition-metal chalcogenide on a bismuth-based topological insulator, both being non-superconducting materials.
While superconductivity and magnetism are generally believed to be mutually exclusive, surprisingly, in this new material, superconducting correlations...
Laser-driving of semimetals allows creating novel quasiparticle states within condensed matter systems and switching between different states on ultrafast time scales
Studying properties of fundamental particles in condensed matter systems is a promising approach to quantum field theory. Quasiparticles offer the opportunity...
Among the general public, solar thermal energy is currently associated with dark blue, rectangular collectors on building roofs. Technologies are needed for aesthetically high quality architecture which offer the architect more room for manoeuvre when it comes to low- and plus-energy buildings. With the “ArKol” project, researchers at Fraunhofer ISE together with partners are currently developing two façade collectors for solar thermal energy generation, which permit a high degree of design flexibility: a strip collector for opaque façade sections and a solar thermal blind for transparent sections. The current state of the two developments will be presented at the BAU 2017 trade fair.
As part of the “ArKol – development of architecturally highly integrated façade collectors with heat pipes” project, Fraunhofer ISE together with its partners...
19.01.2017 | Event News
10.01.2017 | Event News
09.01.2017 | Event News
19.01.2017 | Studies and Analyses
19.01.2017 | Physics and Astronomy
19.01.2017 | Life Sciences