Author(s): Paola Souto Ceccon; Enrico Duo; Tomas Fernandez Montablanc; Juan Montes; Paolo Ciavola; Clara Armaroli
Keywords: Coastal storms; Database; Flood and coastal damage
Abstract: Coastal flood events are one of the most important cause of damage and economic losses along European coastlines. The trend of the economic losses due to these natural hazards has been increasing since 1966 despite cooperation between countries, production of policies at European level and efforts of the scientific community. Flood risk of low-lying areas will continue to increase due to the expected rise of sea level and changes in storm frequency due to climate change, paired with the continuous development of coastal socio-economic activities and the increase of population. For these reasons the study and monitoring of coastal flood hazards and impacts is a key issue for coastal managers and entities responsible for risk management. Currently the few available coastal flood databases collect events at the national level (e.g. Base des donnèes sur les inondations, SICI). The fact that they are constructed at national level has a number of implications: first the research and the collection of information will be difficult by third parties when there is not familiarity with countries’ institutions and agencies providing the resources; second, there in an absence of homogeneity in terms of “extent” and “completeness” on the datasets as they were prepared following different methodologies. At European level, a few relevant efforts to prepare a common coastal flooding-impacts database (e.g. RISC-KIT, HANZE) have been made, but they were not regularly updated or they are not freely available. Considering these limitations in the current state-of-the-art, we consider that a new European database is needed with a specific methodology to gather the information and that could be easily editable and downloadable. Here we present a new resource database containing information about pre-selected events, on the bases of information availability, that generated major damage and flooding along Europe's coasts over the period 2010-2020. This dataset is based on information collected from different resources, as news, scientific articles, technical reports or institutional websites, among others. The events contained in the database are associated with geographical locations, defining the test cases. The test cases definition allows the collection of information from different storms that hit the same area over the time interval. The database is publicly distributed as an Excel Workbook, and constitutes a comprehensive and user-friendly inventory that reports impact, flood characteristics, hydrodynamics (when available) and weather information related both to the pre-selected extreme events and test cases. A total of 11 marine events, 26 test cases, 28 sites and 207 resources are currently available in the database but new events, sites, test cases and resources can be incorporated, making it a “living tool”.