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Extreme value analysis of decadal variations in storm surge elevations

Research output: Contribution to Journal/MagazineJournal articlepeer-review

<mark>Journal publication date</mark>31/08/2007
<mark>Journal</mark>Journal of Marine Systems
Issue number1-2
Number of pages12
Pages (from-to)189-200
Publication StatusPublished
Early online date13/12/06
<mark>Original language</mark>English


We use a novel statistical approach to analyse changes in the occurrence and severity of storm surge events in the southern and central North Sea over the period 1955-2000, using 1) output from a numerical storm surge model and 2) in situ data on surge levels at sites for which sufficiently long observational records are available. The methodology provides a robust diagnostic tool for assessing the ability of models to reproduce the observed characteristics of storm surges, in a fashion that properly accounts both for variability within a single long run of the model and for recording error in observational data on sea levels. The model re-analysis data show strong positive trends in the frequency and severity of storm surge events at locations in the north-eastern North Sea, whilst trends at locations in the southern and western North Sea appear to be dominated by decadal variability. Trends in in situ data for sites along the North Sea coast are fairly synchronous with corresponding trends in the model re-analysis data, with the most serious discrepancies attributable to known problems in the observational record.