Sensitivity of storm-induced hazards in a highly curvilinear coastline to changing storm directions: the Tordera delta case (NW Mediterranean)
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Extreme coastal storms, especially when incident in areas with densely urbanized coastlines, are one of the most damaging forms of natural disasters. The main hazards originating from coastal storms are inundation and erosion, and their magnitude and extent needs to be accurately assessed for effective management of coastal risk. The use of state-of-art morphodynamic process-based models is becoming standard, with most being applied to straight coastlines with gentle slopes. In this study, the XBeach model is used to assess the coastal response of a curvilinear sensitive deltaic coast with coarse sediment and steep slopes (intermediate-reflective conditions). The tested hypothesis is that changes in wave direction may cause large variations in the magnitude of storm-induced hazards. The model is tested against field data available for the Sant Esteve Storm (December 2008), obtaining an overall BSS (Brier Skill Score) score on the emerged morphological response of 0.68. Later, the 2008 event is used as baseline scenario to create synthetic events covering the range from NE to S. The obtained results show that storm-induced hazards along a highly curvilinear coast are very sensitive to changes in wave direction. Therefore, even under climate scenarios of relatively steady storminess, a potential shift in wave direction may significantly change hazard conditions and thus, need to be accounted for in robust damage risk assessments.
CitationSanuy, M.; Jimenez, J.A. Sensitivity of storm-induced hazards in a highly curvilinear coastline to changing storm directions: the Tordera delta case (NW Mediterranean). "Water", Abril 2019, vol. 11, núm. 4, p. 1-22.