PUMA
Istituto di Scienze Marine     
Ullmann A., Pirazzoli P. A., Tomasin A. Sea surges in Camargue: Trends over the 20th century. In: Continental Shelf Research, vol. 27 (7) pp. 922 - 934. Pergamon-elsevier Science Ltd, 2007.
 
 
Abstract
(English)
The vulnerability to short-term and long-term sea-level rises is particularly high in subsiding deltaic areas, especially in microtidal seas, when surges (the differences between the observed sea heights and the simultaneous astronomical tide) are frequent. At the Grau-de-la-Dent tide-gauge in the Camargue (Rhone delta, France), daily sea-level records are available since 1905. Hourly tide data spanning the period 1979-1995 were obtained through the digitisation of the original paper records: the local harmonic constants and the surges for the whole 20th century have been computed from these hourly observations. It appears that the annual maximum observed sea-level height increases by 4mm/yr at a rate that is two times faster than the average observed relative sea level. The increasing trend of the annual maximum positive sea surges (+ 1.9 mm/yr), which is equal to the average relative sea-level rise, is thus responsible for this difference. The most important meteorological factor associated with local sea-surge occurrences is wind blowing from 100 degrees to 120 degrees sectors, which tends to push the water toward the coasts. Since 1961, the frequency and the speed of wind from this sector increased, although with some variability, thus contributing in part to the increase in the frequency and intensity of the surges. Due to the changing hydrodynamics phenomenon in the Camargue, a positive feedback mechanism between extreme marine events and shoreline regression is another factor to explain the sea-surge rise over the long term. The increase in sea-surge frequency and height during the last century is especially of concern in the deltaic area if the near-future global sea-level rise predicted by climate models is also taken into account. (c) 2007 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
DOI: 10.1016/j.csr.2006.12.001
Subject sea level
surge
tide
wind
flooding risk
Camargue
Rhone delta


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