Journal cover Journal topic
Natural Hazards and Earth System Sciences An interactive open-access journal of the European Geosciences Union
Journal topic

Journal metrics

Journal metrics

  • IF value: 2.281 IF 2.281
  • IF 5-year value: 2.693 IF 5-year
    2.693
  • CiteScore value: 2.43 CiteScore
    2.43
  • SNIP value: 1.193 SNIP 1.193
  • SJR value: 0.965 SJR 0.965
  • IPP value: 2.31 IPP 2.31
  • h5-index value: 40 h5-index 40
  • Scimago H <br class='hide-on-tablet hide-on-mobile'>index value: 73 Scimago H
    index 73
Discussion papers
https://doi.org/10.5194/nhess-2018-359
© Author(s) 2018. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.
https://doi.org/10.5194/nhess-2018-359
© Author(s) 2018. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

Research article 21 Dec 2018

Research article | 21 Dec 2018

Review status
This discussion paper is a preprint. It is a manuscript under review for the journal Natural Hazards and Earth System Sciences (NHESS).

Water-level attenuation in broad-scale assessments of exposure to coastal flooding: a sensitivity analysis

Athanasios T. Vafeidis1, Mark Schuerch2, Claudia Wolff1, Tom Spencer3, Jan L. Merkens1, Jochen Hinkel4, Daniel Lincke4, Sally Brown5, and Robert J. Nicholls5 Athanasios T. Vafeidis et al.
  • 1Coastal Risks and Sea-Level Rise Research Group, Department of Geography, Christian-Albrecths University Kiel, Ludewig-Meyn-Str. 14, 24098 Kiel, Germany
  • 2Lincoln Centre for Water and Planetary Health, School of Geography, University of Lincoln, Think Tank, Lincoln, LN6 7FL, UK
  • 3Cambridge Coastal Research Unit, Department of Geography, University of Cambridge, Downing Place, Cambridge CB2 3EN, UK
  • 4Global Climate Forum e.V. (GCF), Neue Promenade 6, 10178 Berlin, Germany
  • 5Faculty of Engineering and the Environment, University of Southampton, Highfield, Southampton SO17 1BJ, UK

Abstract. This study explores the uncertainty introduced in global assessments of coastal flood exposure and risk when not accounting for water level attenuation due to land-surface characteristics. We implement a range of plausible water-level attenuation values for characteristic land-cover classes in the flood module of the Dynamic and Integrated Vulnerability Assessment (DIVA) modelling framework and assess the sensitivity of flood exposure and flood risk indicators to differences in attenuation rates. Results show a reduction of up to 47 % in area exposure and even larger reductions in population exposure and expected flood damages when considering water level attenuation. The reductions vary by country, reflecting the differences in the physical characteristics of the floodplain as well as in the spatial distribution of people and assets in coastal regions. We find that uncertainties related to not accounting for water attenuation in global assessments of flood risk are of similar magnitude to the uncertainties related to the amount of SLR expected over the 21st century. Despite using simplified assumptions to account for the process of water level attenuation, which depends on numerous factors and their complex interactions, our results strongly suggest that an improved understanding and representation of the temporal and spatial variation of water levels across floodplains is essential for future impact modelling.

Athanasios T. Vafeidis et al.
Interactive discussion
Status: final response (author comments only)
Status: final response (author comments only)
AC: Author comment | RC: Referee comment | SC: Short comment | EC: Editor comment
[Login for Authors/Editors] [Subscribe to comment alert] Printer-friendly Version - Printer-friendly version Supplement - Supplement
Athanasios T. Vafeidis et al.
Athanasios T. Vafeidis et al.
Viewed  
Total article views: 429 (including HTML, PDF, and XML)
HTML PDF XML Total BibTeX EndNote
382 42 5 429 2 2
  • HTML: 382
  • PDF: 42
  • XML: 5
  • Total: 429
  • BibTeX: 2
  • EndNote: 2
Views and downloads (calculated since 21 Dec 2018)
Cumulative views and downloads (calculated since 21 Dec 2018)
Viewed (geographical distribution)  
Total article views: 213 (including HTML, PDF, and XML) Thereof 211 with geography defined and 2 with unknown origin.
Country # Views %
  • 1
1
 
 
 
 
Cited  
Saved  
No saved metrics found.
Discussed  
No discussed metrics found.
Latest update: 18 Mar 2019
Publications Copernicus
Download
Short summary
This paper evaluates the effect of surge attenuation due to land surface characteristics on the assessment of flooding extent and depth, in global studies. Our results show that uncertainties in the estimation of flood characteristics due to not accounting for water attenuation are of similar magnitude to the uncertainties regarding the total amount of sea-level rise by 2100, thus suggesting the need for better understanding the spatial and temporal variation of water levels across floodplains.
This paper evaluates the effect of surge attenuation due to land surface characteristics on the...
Citation