18 Apr 2023
 | 18 Apr 2023

Probabilistic Methods for Projecting Average Recurrence Intervals of Coastal Flooding with Sea Level Rise

Timothy Hall, James P. Kossin, Terence Thompson, Seung Hun Baek, Kimberley Drouin, and Danielle Montagne

Abstract. We illustrate efficient methods to estimate future projected average return intervals (ARIs) of flood depths in coastal regions from storm-tide data and sea-level rise (SLR) projections. A flood-water path-finding algorithm is applied to digital elevation models (DEMs) in coastal regions to determine possible flood depths at interior points, given storm-tide levels at ARIs and local SLR with uncertainty on the coast. We show that the distribution of projected ARIs of a historical baseline flood-depth is truncated log-normal in the Gumbel extreme-value approximation, and we provide analytic expressions for the means. With this approximation, projected change in flood damage over a range of ARIs can be estimated by analysis at any single ARI. Compared to flood-depth distributions, ARI distributions are less directly related to flood damage, but they have the advantage of relative insensitivity to uncertainties in DEMs and other granular details of flood-risk modeling. We illustrate with applications to Miami, Florida, and coastal North Carolina using two different DEMs.

Timothy Hall et al.

Status: final response (author comments only)

Comment types: AC – author | RC – referee | CC – community | EC – editor | CEC – chief editor | : Report abuse
  • RC1: 'Comment on egusphere-2023-425', Anonymous Referee #1, 13 May 2023
    • AC1: 'Reply on RC1', Timothy Hall, 16 May 2023
      • RC2: 'Reply on AC1', Anonymous Referee #1, 16 May 2023
  • RC3: 'Comment on egusphere-2023-425', Anonymous Referee #2, 20 Aug 2023

Timothy Hall et al.

Timothy Hall et al.


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Short summary
We illustrate techniques to estimate changes in coastal flood frequency with rising sea level. The techniques incorporate the significant uncertainty in projections of future sea level, resulting in a distribution of changes in flood frequency. Flood frequency is not as directly related as depth to flood damage. However, frequency has the advantage of being less sensitive than depth to uncertainties in ground elevation.