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Relative sea-level changes and extreme flooding events around European coasts

Objective

To identify and explain trends and rates of change in relative
sea levels and storminess during the past 5,000 years along
selected European Union coastlines and to indicate possible
changes in the near future.


Two broad approaches will be used in this work. In the first, evidence for
relative sea level changes and storminess will be studied from geological
evidence, whilst in the second more recent changes will be examined from
documentary and instrumental records. Particular attention will be paid to
the varied history of land movement around the European coastline.

Studies of key stratigraphies and morphological evidence in coastal areas of
the European Union will form a basis for the geological work. Patterns and
rates of land movement around the epicontinental North and Mediterranean Seas
during the late Holocene will be examined using on the one hand
stratigraphical studies employing microfossil, geochemical and particle size
analysis, and on the other hand using morphological work, employing standard
surveying techniques. Models of patterns and rates of relative sea level
change will be determined using standard statistical methods. Studies of storm
surge frequency and magnitude during the late Holocene will likewise employ
stratigraphical methods at selected sites, principally in areas of low energy
such as estuarine and mudflat areas, where detailed sequences of sedimentation
patterns can be studied. The response of the coast to both changes in
relative sea level and changes in storminess will be studied at selected
locations.

Studies of documentary and instrumental records will seek to fill the gap
between the most recent geological evidence and the present day. Documentary
evidence will be sought from historical records in a variety of sources both
for sea level change and storminess. Instrumental records will be used to
examine Mean Sea Level trends and compare these with atmospheric forcing
factors. Seasonal cycles in Mean Sea Level will be examined and as will
variability due to the Pole/Tide. Trends in storm surge activity will be
examined from instrumental records. In areas of land movement, evidence for
Mean Sea Level variations will be compared with contemporary evidence of land
movement.

Geological and documentary/instrumental evidence will be integrated to
determine long term trends and possible future trends in both Mean Sea Level
and storminess. Trends in selected areas of the coastline of the European
Union will be identified at the conclusion of the contract.

Coordinator

COVENTRY UNIVERSITY
Address
Priory Street
CV1 5FB Coventry
United Kingdom

Participants (8)

Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique (CNRS)
France
Address
1 Place Aristide Briand
92195 Meudon
MINISTRY OF TRANSPORT PUBLIC WORKS AND WATER MANAGEMENT
Netherlands
Address
Kortenaerkade 1
2500 EX Den Haag ('S-gravenhage)
NATIONAL AND KAPODISTRIAN UNIVERSITY OF ATHENS
Greece
Address
33,Panepistimioupolis 33, Building Physics V, Univers
15784 Zographos, Athens
NATURAL ENVIRONMENT RESEARCH COUNCIL
United Kingdom
Address
Bidston Observatory
L43 7RA Birkenhead
Rijks Geologische Dienst - Nederland
Netherlands
Address
Vincent Van Goghstraat
5670 AA Nuenen
Studio di Consulenza Ambientale Prof.Antonino Palumbo e C.
Italy
Address
Via G. Pascoli Posillipo 8
80123 Napoli
University of Durham
United Kingdom
Address
South Road
DH1 3LE Durham
Universität Bremen
Germany
Address

28359 Bremen