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Volume 18, issue 7 | Copyright
Nat. Hazards Earth Syst. Sci., 18, 1937-1955, 2018
https://doi.org/10.5194/nhess-18-1937-2018
© Author(s) 2018. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License.

Research article 12 Jul 2018

Research article | 12 Jul 2018

Estimations of statistical dependence as joint return period modulator of compound events – Part 1: Storm surge and wave height

Thomas I. Petroliagkis Thomas I. Petroliagkis
  • Joint Research Center, Ispra, 21027, Italy

Abstract. The possibility of utilizing statistical dependence methods in coastal flood hazard calculations is investigated since flood risk is rarely a function of just one source variable but usually two or more. Source variables in most cases are not independent as they may be driven by the same weather event, so their dependence, which is capable of modulating their joint return period, has to be estimated before the calculation of their joint probability. Dependence and correlation may differ substantially from one another since dependence is focused heavily on tail (extreme) percentiles. The statistical analysis between surge and wave is performed over 32 river ending points along European coasts. Two sets of almost 35-year hindcasts of storm surge and wave height were adopted, and results are presented by means of analytical tables and maps referring to both correlation and statistical dependence values. Further, the top 80 compound events were defined for each river ending point. Their frequency of occurrence was found to be distinctly higher during the cold months, while their main low-level flow characteristics appear to be mainly in harmony with the transient nature of storms and their tracks. Overall, significantly strong values of positive correlations and dependencies were found over the Irish Sea; English Channel; and south coasts of the North Sea, Norwegian Sea, and Baltic Sea, with compound events taking place in a zero-lag mode. For the rest, mostly positive moderate dependence values were estimated even if a considerable number of them had correlations of almost zero or even a negative value.

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Compound events – that is, two or more events occurring simultaneously – can lead to high impacts, even if the two single events are not extreme per se, i.e. only their combination. The possibility of utilizing statistical dependence methods in coastal flood hazard calculations is investigated. The statistical analysis between storm surge and wave height is performed over 32 river ending points along European coasts. The top 80 compound events are defined, and their low-level flow is analysed.
Compound events – that is, two or more events occurring simultaneously – can lead to high...
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