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    Coastal resilience and vulnerability: storm impacts, extreme weather and regional variability in the UK, winter 2013-14

    Brooks, Susan (2017) Coastal resilience and vulnerability: storm impacts, extreme weather and regional variability in the UK, winter 2013-14. Geography 102 (2), pp. 60-70. ISSN 0016-7487.

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    Abstract

    The winter of 2013-14 brought extreme storminess to the UK. Monthly rainfall was over 200% of the 1981-2010 average. The damage was considerable, affecting landforms, habitats, societies and infrastructure. Over that winter there were several high-magnitude storms, occurring at very closely spaced time intervals, which were particularly devastating in the west and south-west of the UK. Conversely, in the east a single extreme storm, which occurred on 5 December 2013, did most of the damage. This article highlights how new technologies are being used to quantify some of the key coastal impacts of such events. The data collected support the unevenness of the impact of the storms on the shorelines at different locations around the UK. Storms had a far-reaching and devastating impact along south-west coastlines because these coasts are wave-dominated and every storm included high magnitude waves. However, the east coast shorelines, in particular in East Anglia, are tide-dominated and take a special combination of circumstances to generate the largest impacts. The storm on 5 December 2013 generated elevated water levels in the sea, reaching even greater elevations than the notorious storm of 31 January 1953, where lives were lost. With large waves adding to the impact of high water levels, effects were felt around the whole of the coast of East Anglia. Enhanced forecasting capability and strengthened coastal defences meant that no lives were lost. However, future sea level rise and changing coastal storm tracks may bring even greater coastal devastation; therefore, we need to be prepared to develop new strategies for forecasting, early warning and evacuation planning.

    Metadata

    Item Type: Article
    School: Birkbeck Schools and Departments > School of Social Sciences, History and Philosophy > Department of Geography
    Depositing User: Administrator
    Date Deposited: 12 Jun 2017 10:39
    Last Modified: 12 Jun 2017 10:44
    URI: http://eprints.bbk.ac.uk/id/eprint/18895

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