Natural Hazards

, Volume 29, Issue 3, pp 485–500 | Cite as

Causes of the Unusual Coastal Flooding Generated by Typhoon Winnie on the West Coast of Korea

  • I.-J. Moon
  • I. S. Oh
  • T. Murty
  • Y.-H. Youn


On 19 August 1997 Typhoon Winnie brought unusually strong and extensive coastal flooding from storm surges to the west coast of Korea, which was farenough from the typhoon's center to lack significant local wind and pressure forcing.Sea levels at some tidal stations broke 36-year records and resulted in property damages of $18,000,000. This study investigated the causes of the unusual high sea levels by using an Astronomical-Meteorological Index (AMI) and a coupled ocean wave-circulation model developed by the present authors. The AMI analysis and the numerical simulation of the surge event showed that the major cause of the high sea levels was not the standard inverse barometric effect supplemented by water piling up along the coast by the wind field of the typhoon as is usual for a typical storm surge, but rather an enhanced tidal forcing from the perigean spring tide and water transported into the Yellow Sea by the currents generated by the typhoon. The numerical results also indicated that the transported water accounted for about 50% of the increased sea levels. Another cause for the coastal flooding was the resonance coupling of the Yellow Sea (with a natural normal mode period of 37.8 h) and the predominant period of the surge (36.5 h).

coastal flooding high sea levels astronomical-meteorological index coupled ocean wave-circulation model tidal forcing transported water resonance coupling 


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Copyright information

© Kluwer Academic Publishers 2003

Authors and Affiliations

  • I.-J. Moon
    • 1
  • I. S. Oh
    • 2
  • T. Murty
    • 3
  • Y.-H. Youn
    • 4
  1. 1.Graduate School of OceanographyUniversity of Rhode IslandNarragansettU.S.A.
  2. 2.Department of Oceanography and Research Institute of OceanographySeoul National UniversitySeoulKorea
  3. 3.W. F. Baird & AssociatesCoastal Engineers Ltd.Canada
  4. 4.Korea Meteorological AdministrationMeteorological Research InstituteSeoulKorea

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