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Natural Hazards and Earth System Sciences An interactive open-access journal of the European Geosciences Union
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Volume 11, issue 6 | Copyright
Nat. Hazards Earth Syst. Sci., 11, 1627-1639, 2011
https://doi.org/10.5194/nhess-11-1627-2011
© Author(s) 2011. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License.

  14 Jun 2011

14 Jun 2011

Regional frequency analysis of extreme storm surges along the French coast

L. Bardet1, C.-M. Duluc1, V. Rebour1, and J. L'Her2 L. Bardet et al.
  • 1Institut de Radioprotection et de Sûreté Nucléaire (IRSN), DEI, SARG, BEHRIG, BP17, 92 262 Fontenay aux Roses Cedex, France
  • 2Centre d'Etudes Techniques Maritimes et Fluviales, Technopôle Brest-Iroise, BP5, 29 280 Plouzané, France

Abstract. A good knowledge of extreme storm surges is necessary to ensure protection against flood. In this paper we introduce a methodology to determine time series of skew surges in France as well as a statistical approach for estimating extreme storm surges. With the aim to cope with the outlier issue in surge series, a regional frequency analysis has been carried out for the surges along the Atlantic coast and the Channel coast. This methodology is not the current approach used to estimate extreme surges in France. First results showed that the extreme events identified as outliers in at-site analyses do not appear to be outliers any more in the regional empirical distribution. Indeed the regional distribution presents a curve to the top with these extreme events that a mixed exponential distribution seems to recreate. Thus, the regional approach appears to be more reliable for some sites than at-site analyses. A fast comparison at a given site showed surge estimates with the regional approach and a mixed exponential distribution are higher than surge estimates with an at-site fitting. In the case of Brest, the 1000-yr return surge is 167 cm in height with the regional approach instead of 126 cm with an at-site analysis.

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