Vulnerability of Catalan (NW Mediterranean) ports to wave overtopping due to different scenarios of sea level rise
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The overtopping of port breakwaters may affect the assets located at the breakwater lee side. If adaptation measures are not taken, the sea level rise will increase the overtopping discharges putting those assets at significant risk. This study compares, at a regional scale, overtopping discharges over port breakwaters for three storm conditions (return periods of 1, 5 and 50 years) under present climate as well as for three scenarios of sea level rise based on recent projections. The results indicate that, for the worst storm and sea level rise conditions, the overtopping discharge would not be negligible (larger than 1 l/s/m) in 35 ports (84 %), in contrast to only 18 ports (42 %) being affected under present conditions. In addition, in 28 ports (65 %) the overtopping would be at least one order of magnitude larger than for present conditions. In the case of large storms, in 2 ports the overtopping discharge exceeds 200 l/s/m (the discharge that can initiate breakwater damage) under present conditions, while in the worst scenario of sea level rise the number of ports exceeding this value would be 7. On the other hand, the vulnerability of each port for which overtopping flow is greater than an acceptable discharge flux is assessed, and regional maps of vulnerability are plotted. For the worst storm conditions, 23 % of the Catalan ports have risks associated with overtopping under present climate conditions. This percentage would increase to 47 % in the worst sea level rise scenario.
The final publication is available at Springer via http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s10113-015-0879-x
CitationSierra, J.P., Casanovas, I., Mösso, C., Mestres, M., Sanchez-Arcilla, A. Vulnerability of Catalan (NW Mediterranean) ports to wave overtopping due to different scenarios of sea level rise. "Regional Environmental Change", Maig 2016, vol. 16, núm. 5, p. 1457-1468.