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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 17, issue 3 | Copyright
Nat. Hazards Earth Syst. Sci., 17, 505-514, 2017
© Author(s) 2017. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License.

Research article 27 Mar 2017

Research article | 27 Mar 2017

Time clustering of wave storms in the Mediterranean Sea

Giovanni Besio1, Riccardo Briganti2, Alessandro Romano3, Lorenzo Mentaschi4, and Paolo De Girolamo3 Giovanni Besio et al.
  • 1Department of Civil, Chemical and Environmental Engineering, University of Genoa, Genoa, Italy
  • 2Department of Civil Engineering, University of Nottingham, Nottingham, UK
  • 3Department of Civil, Architectural and Environmental Engineering, La Sapienza University, Rome, Italy
  • 4European Commission, Joint Research Centre (JRC), Ispra, Italy

Abstract. In this contribution we identify storm time clustering in the Mediterranean Sea through a comprehensive analysis of the Allan factor. This parameter is evaluated from a long time series of wave height provided by oceanographic buoy measurements and hindcast reanalysis of the whole basin, spanning the period 1979–2014 and characterized by a horizontal resolution of about 0.1° in longitude and latitude and a temporal sampling of 1h Mentaschi et al. (2015). The nature of the processes highlighted by the AF and the spatial distribution of the parameter are both investigated. Results reveal that the Allan factor follows different curves at two distinct timescales. The range of timescales between 12h to 50 days is characterized by a departure from the Poisson distribution. For timescales above 50 days, a cyclic Poisson process is identified. The spatial distribution of the Allan factor reveals that the clustering at smaller timescales is present to the north-west of the Mediterranean, while seasonality is observed across the whole basin. This analysis is believed to be important for assessing the local increased flood and coastal erosion risks due to storm clustering.

Publications Copernicus
Short summary
Results of 36-years of hindcast in the Mediterranean Sea are analysed to detect time clustering of wave storms using the Allan factor. The analysis reveals that some areas of the basin are characterized by storm clustering for timescales t < 50 days, while seasonality is dominant at large scales. The findings highlight a deviation from the Poisson distribution in some sub-basins of the Mediterranean Sea. Implications for coastal erosion/flooding need to be studied further.
Results of 36-years of hindcast in the Mediterranean Sea are analysed to detect time clustering...