COMBINING COASTAL DESIGN-FLOOD ELEVATIONS AND SEA LEVEL RISE PROJECTIONS

James Houston

Abstract


Design-flood elevations with associated exceedance probabilities are often determined for coastal projects. Rising sea level introduces another design consideration that needs to be combined with the design-flood level. However, most sea level projections do not have exceedance probabilities that can be used in conjunction with the design flood to obtain total flood elevations with exceedance probabilities. This paper shows how to combine design-flood elevations with sea level rise projections that have exceedance probabilities, such as those of the Intergovernmental Panel for Climate Change (Bindoff et al 2007) or Houston (2012a), to obtain total elevations at desired exceedance probabilities over particular intervals.

Keywords


sea level rise; coastal flooding; risk

References


Abramowitz, M. and I.A. Stegun, (eds). 1972. Handbook of Mathematical Functions with Formulas, Graphs, and Mathematical Tables, New York, Dover Publications, ISBN 978-0-486-61272-0.

Bindoff, N.L., Willebrand, J., Artale, V., Cazenave, A., Gregory, J., Gulev, S., Hanawa, K., Le Que’re´, C., Levitus, S., Noijiri, Y., Shum, C.K., Talley, L.D., and A. Unnikrishnan, A. 2007. Observations: oceanic climate change and sea level, In: Solomon, S., et al. (eds.), Climate Change 2007: The Physical Science Basis, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, Cambridge University Press, 385-432.

Braverman, J.I., Xu1, J., Ellingwood B.R., Costantino, C.J., Morante R.J., and C.H. Hofmayer. 2007. Evaluation of the seismic design criteria in ASCE/SEI Standard 43-05 for application to nuclear power plants, NUREG/CR-6926, available online at

Castrop, H. 2004. Estimating and combining uncertainties, 8th Annual International Test And Evaluation Association Instrumentation Workshop, available online at:

Goring, G.G., Stephens, S.A., Bell, R.G., and C.P. Pearson. 2011. Estimation of extreme sea levels in a tide-dominated environment using short data records, Journal, Waterway, Port, Coastal, Ocean Engineering. American Society of Civil Engineers, 137, 150-159.http://dx.doi.org/10.1061/(ASCE)WW.1943-5460.0000071

Heberger, M., Cooley, H., Herrera, P., Gleick, P.H., and E. Moore. 2009. The impacts of sea- level rise on the California coast, California Energy Commission Report No. CEC- 500-2009-024-F, available online at:

Houston. J.H. 2012a. Sea level projections to 2100 using methodology of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, Special Issue, Journal of Waterway, Port, Coastal, and Ocean Engineering, American Society of Civil Engineering (in publication).

Houston J.H. 2012b. Methodology for Combining Coastal Design-Flood Elevations and Sea Level Rise Projections, Journal of Waterway, Port, Coastal, and Ocean Engineering, American Society of Civil Engineering (submitted).

Hunter, J. 2011. "A simple technique for estimating an allowance for uncertain sea-level rise." Climate Change, doi: 10.1007/s10584-011-0332-1, available online at http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s10584-011-0332-1

Jensen, J., Mudersbach, C., Koziar, C., and Bork, I., (2004), " Modelling of extreme storm surge weather situations in the North Sea and its statistical analysis." Proceedings of Littoral 2004, 2, 438-443, available online at

Nicholls. R.J., Marinova, N., Lowe, J.A., Brown, S., Vellinga, P., de Gusmao, D., Hinkel, J., Tol, R.S.J. (2011). "Sea-level rise and its possible impacts given a 'beyond 4°C world' in the twenty-first century." Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society, 369 (1934), 161-181, doi: 10.1098/rsta.2010.0291.http://dx.doi.org/10.1098/rsta.2010.0291

Patel, J. K. and Reed, C.B., 1996, "Handbook of the normal distribution." 2nd Edition, CRC Press, 456 p, ISBN-10: 0824793420.

Rahmstorf, S. (2007). "A semi-empirical approach to projecting future sea-level rise." Science, 315, 368-370.http://dx.doi.org/10.1126/science.1135456

PMid:17170254

Tebaldi, C., Strauss. B. H., and Zervas, C.E. (2012). "Modeling sea level rise impacts on storm surges along US coasts." Environmental Research Letters. 7 (1), doi:10.1088/1748- 9326/7/1/014032, available online at:


Full Text: PDF

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License.