Extreme Sea Levels Impact on FlOoD DefenseS in Coastal Areas
Frequency and intensity of flooding is expected to change in the coming decades, due to sea level rise combined with changes in storminess. Episodic flooding of coastal areas comes with large social and ecological impacts and can cause immense damage. Thus, in the coming decades changing climates will challenge the reliability of current extreme sea level forecasts and the design and assessment of safety of flood defences.
The project ODDS aims at a better understanding of the effect of climate change on extreme sea levels and at investigating what this means for flood risk management in coastal areas. ODDS will answer questions such as, how will extreme sea levels and its driving mechanisms evolve under future climate change? how do changes in extreme sea levels and storminess influence the reliability of forecasting and prediction models? What will the impact of changing extreme sea levels be on the safety of flood defences?
For finding answers relevant for global communities, ODDS brings together a consortium integrated by a knowledge institution, TU Delft; a public organization, Rijkswaterstaat; and three private partners, TNO, HKV and Deltares. The main output of project ODDS will be obtained through a PhD researcher (Paulina Kindermann). The research program of this project starts fundamental, with the expectation of defining the pathways for scaling the results from ODDS to demonstration and implementation phases in follow up research.
Doel van het project
The main contribution of project ODDS will be in further understanding extreme sea levels, assessing the reliability of forecasting and prediction models for future extremes, and on translating this understanding into flood risk management practices by developing novel engineering solutions for the design and assessment of safety of flood defences.
The ODDS project aims at (1) unravelling extreme sea level processes relevant for forecasting and assessment of safety of flood defences under changing climates, including tides, weather driven storm surges, waves, and wind, and mean sea level variability and (2) embedding the generated knowledge in adaptive flood risk management practices in the coastal zone.
Flooding in coastal areas has a major social and ecological impact and can cause immense damage. In the coming decades, the frequency and intensity of flooding is expected to change, due to mean sea level rise combined with changes in weather and hydrodynamic climates. Changing sea level processes will challenge the accuracy and reliability of current forecasting systems of extreme sea level, and current practices for the design and assessment of safety of flood defences. Better understanding these aspects is essential to guarantee efficient flood risk management in coastal areas in the future. Hence, the research proposal of the project ODDS.
To reach these aims, ODDS identifies three research questions (RQs):
RQ1- how will extreme sea levels and its driving mechanisms evolve under future climate change?
RQ2- how do changes in extreme sea levels and storminess influence the reliability of forecasting and prediction models?
RQ3- what will the impact of changing extreme sea levels be on the safety of flood defences?
In consequence, research in ODDS is organized in three work packages (WPs) that will answer the questions above by combining several case studies:
WP1- Understand the link between large scale atmospheric processes and spatial and temporal variability of extreme sea levels, and the interactions between sea level components, including tide, surge, and waves.
WP2- Improve the reliability of short-term forecasts, and mid- and long-term predictions of extreme sea levels under changing extreme sea levels.
WP3- Understand the impact of changing extreme sea levels on flood defences and advise on how to adapt guidelines and instruments for the design and assessment of flood protection systems in coastal areas to incorporate the effect of changing extreme sea levels.
ODDS will establish standard practices for probabilistic modelling in the hydraulic engineering field using combined machine learning techniques, numerical and physical models, and uncertainty characterization, as it is increasingly applied in many fields, such as climatology, and this combination is still under development when it comes to hydraulic engineering.
ODDS will develop modelling techniques required to bridge climate change impacts on extreme sea levels (and its drivers), forecast systems for these extreme sea levels, and ultimately risk management required to cope with these impacts, once the direct translation of models for (weather) climate change into the operational context of flood risk management (use, operation, and maintenance of hydraulic structures) is still rarely made, partly precisely because of the large uncertainties; and as a result, little is currently known about what climate change can mean for the operational context of extreme sea levels (forecast systems) and how people should prepare for different scenarios (flood risks).
ODDS aligns with other TUD research projects such as, CHANCE on climate change impacts on extreme sea levels, AdaptCoast on Adaptive monitoring, nowcast, and prediction of beach surface dynamics, and PhD research on the climate change impacts on sea turtle nesting beaches. In addition, the risk analysis component of ODDS aligns with TUD research in probabilistic design of submerge floating tunnels, concrete bridges, and coastal infrastructure such as breakwaters. The expert judgment part will use and extend ANDURYL and MATLATZINCA (open-source python-based) software developed at the TUD for elicitation and combination of expert judgments. BANSHEE (open-source python-based software for Bayesian Networks) that is under development at the TUD may be one of the possible tools to use within ODDS. A recent database containing over 660 million graphical models representing probability distributions (CHIMERA) may also be explored together with the DelftBlue (high performance computer of TUD) as a possible tool to use within the instrumentarium available for and to be further developed within ODDS.
ODDS will work in close collaboration with two projects from our partners, that are closely aligned with the research topic: The first project is related to the development of a new statistical model for the hydraulic loads at the Dutch coast. The model is being developed by our partners RWS, HKV and Deltares within the research programme Kennis voor Keringen. The purpose of the model is to account for more physical processes and time dependencies of North Sea storms. Within the model, extreme storms are translated into hydraulic loads at the Dutch coast during normative conditions, that can be used for the assessment and design of flood defences (dunes, dikes and storm surge barriers). The model is currently a research prototype, but further development in the coming years aims to prepare the model for implementation in existing software within BOI2023 (by Rijkswaterstaat WVL, Deltares, and the DGWB). The PhD researcher will be involved in the project, and the gained knowledge within ODDS, about extreme storms (in future climate) and its effect on coastal hydraulic loads can be used and implemented directly.
All scientific publications resulting from activity 1 will be made open source.
Software resulting from the research will be made open source.
Scientific publications resulting from activity 1 will be made open source
We plan to keep a webpage open (TKI website) where communication regarding the progress of project
ODDS will take place. Meetings with all collaborators in the consortium will take place on regular basis,
to keep the consortium updated and to make sure that the findings of the project align with the needs
and interests of industry practice, represented by the consortium. All output of the project is planned to
be open source including software that might be developed and scientific publications. Links to these
resources will be placed in the website.
Het consortium zal een samenwerkingsovereenkomst sluiten die aan de eisen van de regeling tegemoet komt.