Storm Surge and Extreme River Discharge: A Compound Event Analysis Using Ensemble Impact Modeling

Sonu Khanal, Nina Ridder, Hylke de Vries, Wilco Terink, Bart van den Hurk
2019 Frontiers in Earth Science  
Many winter deep low-pressure systems passing over Western Europe have the potential to induce significant storm surge levels along the coast of the North Sea. The accompanying frontal systems lead to large rainfall amounts, which can result in river discharges exceeding critical thresholds. The risk of disruptive societal impact increases strongly if river runoff and storm-surge peak occur near-simultaneously. For the Rhine catchment and the Dutch coastal area, existing studies suggest that no
more » ... ies suggest that no such relation is present at time lags shorter than 6 days. Here we re-investigate the possibility of finding near-simultaneous storm surge and extreme river discharge using an extended data set derived from a storm surge model (WAQUA/DCSMv5) and two hydrological riverdischarge models (SPHY and HBV96) forced with conditions from a high-resolution (0.11 • /12 km) regional climate model (RACMO2) in ensemble mode (16 × 50 years). We find that the probability for finding a co-occurrence of extreme river discharge at Lobith and storm surge conditions at Hoek van Holland are up to four times higher (than random chance) for a broad range of time lags (−2 to 10 days, depending on exact threshold). This highlights that the hazard of a co-occurrence of high river discharge and coastal water levels cannot be neglected in a robust risk assessment.
doi:10.3389/feart.2019.00224 fatcat:6njuzhrwcnayrdmtt25mch4g2m