Piet Haerens, Paolo Ciavola, Óscar Ferreira, Ap van Dongeren, Mark Van Koningsveld, Annelies Bolle


Extreme coastal storms have a destructive impact on coastal areas and directly affect people living in the coastal zone, being this emphasized by recent events (e.g. Katrina, Xynthia) which reminded the world of the vulnerability of coastal areas. The economic constraints and the increasing vulnerability of coastal areas (due to sea level rise and to increased occupation) make it impossible to continue with a coastal zone management strategy based solely on engineering schemes to protect vulnerable coastal areas across Europe. Development tools and methods that improve today’s forecasting, prediction and early warning capabilities in order to improve the assessment of coastal vulnerability and risks are strongly needed and should be part of future prevention, mitigation and preparedness measures. Within the MICORE project online operational storm early warning systems (CEWSs) using open-source models and tools for reliable predictions of the morphological impact of marine storm events were developed and demonstrated. The system makes use of existing off-the-shelf models as well as a state of the art open-source morphological model (XBeach). The project specifically targeted the development of early warning and information systems to support a short term emergency response in case of an extreme storm event (CEWS). The current paper describes the applied system architecture, the model set-up and the storm impact indicator (SII) oriented approach. It also highlights the need for further developments and application.


coastal storms; morphodynamic feedback loop; early warning systems

Full Text:



Ciavola, P., Ó. Ferreira, P. Haerens, M. Van Koningsveld, C. Armaroli and Q Lequeux. 2011a. Storm impacts along European coastlines. Part 1: the joint effort of the MICORE and ConHaz projects. Environmental Science and Policy, Elsevier, 14, 912-923.

Ciavola, P., Ó. Ferreira, P. Haerens, M. Van Koningsveld, C. Armaroli. 2011b. Storm impacts along European coastlines. Part2. Lessons learned from the MICORE Project. Environmental Science and Policy, Elsevier, 14, 924-933.

Baart, F., T. van der Kaaij, M. van Ormondt, A. van Dongeren, M. van Koningsveld and J.A. Roelvink. 2009. Real-time forecasting of morphological storm impacts: a case study in the Netherlands. Journal of Coastal Research, SI56, 1617-1621.

Bolle A., P. Mercelis, D. Roelvink, P. Haerens and K. Trouw (2010). 'The application and validation of XBeach for three different field sites', Proceedings of the International Conference on Coastal Engineering, 30 June – 3 July 2010, Shanghai, China.

Sallenger, A.H. 2000. Storm impact scale for barrier islands. Journal of Coastal Research, 16, 890- 895.

Roelvink, D., A. Reniers, A. van Dongeren, J. van Thiel de Vries, R. McCall and J. Lescinski. 2009. Modeling storm impacts on beaches, dunes and barrier islands. Coastal Engineering, 56, 1133– 1152.

Van Dongeren, A. and contributors, 2010. Validation of dune impact models using European field data. Deliverable 4.1 and 4.2: validation of XBeach and off-the-shelf-models. MICORE project Report.

Van Dongeren, A., A. Bolle, M. Vousdoukas, T. Plomaritis, P. Eftimova, J. Williams, C. Armaroli, D. Idier, P. Van Geer, J. Van Thiel de Vries, P. Haerens, R. Taborda, J. Benavente, E. Trifonova, P. Ciavola, Y. Balouin and D. Roelvink. 2009a. MICORE: dune erosion and over-wash model validation with data from nine European field sites, Proceedings of Coastal Dynamics 2009:m Impacts of Human Activities on Dynamic Coastal Processes, pp. 1–15 (doi:10.1142/9789814282475_0084).

Van Dongeren, A., Bolle, A., Roelvink, J., Vousdoukas, M.I., Plomaritis, T., Williams, J., Armaroli, C., Idier, D., Van Geer, P., Van Thiel de Vries, J., Haerens, P., Taborda, R., Benavente, J., Trifonova, E., Ciavola, P., Balouin, Y. and Eftimova, P. (2009b). Micore: dune erosion and overwash model validation with data from nine European field sites. Proceedings of AGU Conference, San Francisco, EOS Transaction.AGU, 90(52) Fall meet. suppl.; Abstract No NH14A- 06.

Van Koningsveld, M., M.J.F. Stive, J.P.M Mulder, H.J. de Vriend, D.W. Dunsbergen and B.G. Ruessink. 2003. Usefulness and effectiveness of coastal research. A matter of perception? Journal of Coastal Research, 19, 441–461.

Van Koningsveld, M., M.A. Davidson and D.A. Huntley. 2005. Matching science with coastal management needs; the search for appropriate coastal state indicators. Journal of Coastal Research, 21, 399–411.

Van Koningsveld, M., M.A. Davidson, D.A. Huntley, R. Medina, S.G.J. Aarninkhof, J. Jimenez, J. Ridgewell and A. de Kruif. 2007. A critical review of the CoastView project: recent and future developments in coastal management video systems. Coastal Engineering, 54, 567–576.

United Nations - UNISDR. 2006. Global Survey of Early Warning Systems - An assessment of capacities, gaps and opportunities towards building a comprehensive global early warning system for all natural hazards.