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An improved database of coastal flooding in the United Kingdom from 1915 to 2016.

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An improved database of coastal flooding in the United Kingdom from 1915 to 2016.

Author(s) Haigh I.D. (1); Ozsoy O. (1); Wadey M.P. (1); Nicholls R.J. (2); Gallop S.L. (1); Wahl T. (2); Brown J. (3)

(1) University of Southampton School of Ocean and Earth Science; (2) University of Southampton Engineering and the Environment; (3) National Oceanography Centre, Liverpool

Subject climatologyMeteorologyAtmosphere, elevation, oceans

Coastal flooding caused by extreme sea levels can produce devastating and wide-ranging consequences. The ‘SurgeWatch’ v1.0 database systematically documents and assesses the consequences of historical coastal flood events around the UK. The original database was inevitably biased due to the inconsistent spatial and temporal coverage of sea-level observations utilised. Therefore, we present an improved version integrating a variety of ‘soft’ data such as journal papers, newspapers, weather reports, and social media. SurgeWatch2.0 identifies 329 coastal flooding events from 1915 to 2016, a more than fivefold increase compared to the 59 events in v1.0. Moreover, each flood event is now ranked using a multi-level categorisation based on inundation, transport disruption, costs, and fatalities: from 1 (Nuisance) to 6 (Disaster). For the 53 most severe events ranked Category 3 and above, an accompanying event description based upon the Source-Pathway-Receptor-Consequence framework was produced. The database contains 58 files: 1 XLSX file, 55 PDF files and 2 CSV file. The first file is a spreadsheet (XLSX) containing the list of all 329 coastal flood events in the database categorised according to the severity scale that we devised. The second and third files are PDF documents containing the short commentaries for all Category 1 and 2 events. There are an additional 53 PDF files containing the longer event commentaries for events ranked Category 3 and higher. A final two CSV files contains the water levels and digitised storm tracks for the 53 Category 3 and higher events. Each of these files is self-describing and is accompanied by extensive metadata. SurgeWatch v2.0 provides the most comprehensive and coherent historical record of UK coastal flooding. It is designed to be a resource for research, planning and management and education. Haigh et al. (2017) provides more detail. Collation of the database and the development of the website was funded through a Natural Environment Research Council (NERC) impact acceleration grant. The database contributes to the objectives of UK Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) consortium project FLOOD Memory (EP/K013513/1).

Temporal coverage 01 January 1915 - 31 December 2016
Spatial coverage North Atlantic Ocean, North Sea, Irish Sea, Bristol Channel, English Channel
File format Delimited, Documents
Language English
Discovery metadata record Link to the related European Directory of Marine Environmental Data (EDMED) record
Publisher British Oceanographic Data Centre - Natural Environment Research Council, UK
Publication date 10 February 2017
Digital Object Identifier (DOI) doi:10.5285/481720c2-35bd-6c10-e053-6c86abc06bb3
Short DOI doi:10/bzjx
Citation text Haigh I.D.; Ozsoy O.; Wadey M.P.; Nicholls R.J.; Gallop S.L.; Wahl T.; Brown J.(2017). An improved database of coastal flooding in the United Kingdom from 1915 to 2016. British Oceanographic Data Centre - Natural Environment Research Council, UK. doi:10.5285/481720c2-35bd-6c10-e053-6c86abc06bb3