Using A Coastal Storm Hazard Index to Assess Storm Impacts in Lisbon

Using A Coastal Storm Hazard Index to Assess Storm Impacts in Lisbon

Bogdan Jaranovic Jorge Trindade  João Ribeiro Adélio Silva 

Centre of Geographical Studies - University of Lisbon, Universidade Aberta and Hidromod - Modelling & IT Specialists

30 June 2017
| Citation



Coastal areas are among the most dynamic earth systems as they are exposed to powerful agents. Near-shore wave energy is one of the most important triggering factors for erosion and flooding and is often neglected for severe infrastructure damaging, property losses and loss of life. These consequences are amplified with high population density and heavy infrastructure implantation as it happens in Lisbon (Portugal). In this context, it is of great importance for coastal stakeholders, decision-makers and civil protection entities to estimate precisely the spatial distribution of storm hazard for prevention and mitigation purposes, as well as to design adjusted answers for calamity responses. We apply a coastal storm hazard index (CSHI) considering triggering and conditioning variables involved in the effects of an extreme storm, namely: 100-year return period of SWAN modelled Hs, and its spatial distribution across the study area, land use, number of buildings, height, slope, geology, geomorphology, erosion/ accretion rates, width of the systems, exposure of the coastline, bathymetry and legally protected areas.

The variables were weighted according to a hierarchical analysis process and classified into five classes of exposure. A validation process was then implemented by comparing the occurrences identified in the last two decades newspapers and the storm hazard classification, showing a satisfactory validation results. The results show a classified storm hazard map that identifies the most and the less exposed areas. High values of CSHI occur in areas with excessive human pressure, low heights sandy systems with significant costal erosion rates. The main type of consequences identified are associated with inland flooding and erosion, resulting in the destruction of coastal protection infrastructures, and population displacement leading to great economic and social impacts and loss of life.


Coast, hazard index, numerical modelling, return period, waves


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