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  • An extreme sea level indicator for the contiguous United States coastline
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An extreme sea level indicator for the contiguous United States coastline

Source(s):  Nature Research

This article describes the development of an aggregated extreme sea level (ESL) indicator for the contiguous United States coastline, which is comprised of separate indicators for mean sea level (MSL) and storm surge climatology (SSC).  Water level data from tide gauges was used to estimate interannual to multi-decadal variability of MSL and SSC and identify coastline stretches where the observed changes are coherent. Both the MSL and SSC indicators show significant fluctuations. Indicators of the individual components are combined with multi-year tidal contributions into aggregated ESL indicators. The relative contribution of the different components varies considerably in time and space. The results highlight the important role of interannual to multi-decadal variability in different sea level components in exacerbating, or reducing, the impacts of long-term MSL rise over time scales relevant for coastal planning and management. Regularly updating the proposed indicator will allow tracking changes in ESL posing a threat to many coastal communities, including the identification of periods where the likelihood of flooding is particularly large or small.



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  • An extreme sea level indicator for the contiguous United States coastline
  • Publication date 2019
  • Author(s) Rashid, Mamunur; Wahl, Thomas; Chambers, Don P. et al
  • Number of pages 14 p.

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