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Assessing the Impact of Extreme Events on the Coast of Oman

Author(s): Filipe Vieira; Francois Smit; Gary Mocke

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Keywords: Oman; Tsunami; Cyclone; Gonu; Extreme events; Numerical modelling

Abstract: The quantification of episodic and long term water levels and extreme wave heights along the coast of Oman is critical for coastal development planning and risk management. This paper describes the analysis of available data and the application of validated coastal models to simulate two of the most recent extreme events, namely Cyclone Gonu in 2007 and the 2004 Indian Ocean Tsunami. The models were validated against limited available data. Whilst the storm surge provoked by Gonu has shown not to cause any abnormal water level variation at a tide gauge located on central coast of Oman, the wave run-up values are considered the main destructive force along the coast. The impact of the 2004 tsunami was less destructive for the Oman coast than cyclone Gonu and only had a significant effect in the south-eastern region around Salalah. Run-up values of up to 3.3 m have been measured and are reproduced in this work. This paper shows that the Oman coastline is vulnerable to extreme events that may cause appreciable destruction. It is recommended that ongoing monitoring as well as informed legislation and guidelines on coastal setback distances and site establishment levels is developed so that the safety of the population and coastal infrastructure can be assured.


Year: 2010

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