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Volume 17, issue 9 | Copyright
Nat. Hazards Earth Syst. Sci., 17, 1559-1571, 2017
https://doi.org/10.5194/nhess-17-1559-2017
© Author(s) 2017. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License.

Research article 18 Sep 2017

Research article | 18 Sep 2017

Assessing storm surge hazard and impact of sea level rise in the Lesser Antilles case study of Martinique

Yann Krien1, Bernard Dudon1, Jean Roger1,2, Gael Arnaud1, and Narcisse Zahibo1 Yann Krien et al.
  • 1LARGE, Laboratoire de Recherche en Géosciences, Université des Antilles, Guadeloupe, France
  • 2G-Mer Etudes Marines, Guadeloupe, France

Abstract. In the Lesser Antilles, coastal inundations from hurricane-induced storm surges pose a great threat to lives, properties and ecosystems. Assessing current and future storm surge hazards with sufficient spatial resolution is of primary interest to help coastal planners and decision makers develop mitigation and adaptation measures. Here, we use wave–current numerical models and statistical methods to investigate worst case scenarios and 100-year surge levels for the case study of Martinique under present climate or considering a potential sea level rise. Results confirm that the wave setup plays a major role in the Lesser Antilles, where the narrow island shelf impedes the piling-up of large amounts of wind-driven water on the shoreline during extreme events. The radiation stress gradients thus contribute significantly to the total surge – up to 100% in some cases. The nonlinear interactions of sea level rise (SLR) with bathymetry and topography are generally found to be relatively small in Martinique but can reach several tens of centimeters in low-lying areas where the inundation extent is strongly enhanced compared to present conditions. These findings further emphasize the importance of waves for developing operational storm surge warning systems in the Lesser Antilles and encourage caution when using static methods to assess the impact of sea level rise on storm surge hazard.

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We used state-of-the-art numerical models and statistical approaches to investigate coastal flooding due to hurricanes and sea level rise for Martinique. The nonlinear interactions of surges with sea level rise are found to reach several tens of centimeters in low-lying areas where the inundation extent is strongly enhanced compared to present conditions. The results presented is this paper are of primary interest to coastal planners and decision makers in Martinique and the Lesser Antilles.
We used state-of-the-art numerical models and statistical approaches to investigate coastal...
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