New release: SurgeWatch Version 2

We are pleased to release a beta of the second version of our coastal flooding database. In the first version of our data base, described here, we identified the dates and times of high water levels in tide gauge records and looked to see if there was evidence of coastal flooding at these times. This approach had two key limitations. First, key historical coastal flooding events were omitted due to the incomplete coverage of tide gauge records (which are sparse pre-1980s and especially prior to mid-1960s). Second, events were ranked using the maximum sea level return period, but the extent and severity of coastal flooding is more complex than this owing to other variables (e.g. waves and defences).

We have been working very hard since the release of the original database more than one year ago, to address these deficiencies. We have done three main things:

  1. We have reviewed known available sources documenting instances of UK flooding and storms and have identified many events excluded in the original database. Our data base now contains  more than 300 coastal flood events from 1915 to today.
  2. We have ranked each of the events from 1 to 6 using a multi-level categorisation based on reported impacts. We will provide more detail on this ranking system we have developed in subsequent posts.
  3. We replaced the existing template (for event descriptions) with one based on the Source-Pathway-Receptor-Consequence (SPRC) model – the most widely accepted conceptual model representing all interacting elements of the coastal floodplain system. Again, we will provide more details of this in subsequent post.

Working with rareloop we have completely redesigned our web-site to make it much easier to navigate through the events. The front page now has a time-line with all the events in the database.  We hope you like the redesigned web-site and extensive new dataset. Please get in contact if you have any questions. Please also upload any photographs of flooding you might have.