A Historical Record of Coastal Floods in Britain: Frequencies and Associated Storm Tracks

Abstract

This paper examines flood frequencies in three coastal sectors of Britain and analyses the associated storm tracks and their principal pathways. The results indicate that the east coast of Britain has suffered most floods over the last 200 years. The frequencies of flood incidents in the south and southwest coast of Britain have increased, particularly during the 20th century, whereas on the west coast flood frequencies have declined. Three distinctive pathways of storm track are identified, related to flood incidents in each coastal sector. A southern pathway in a corridor along the 55° N parallel is associated with flood incidents recorded on the south and southwest coast, whilst storms that are associated with floods on the west coast concentrate along the 60° N parallel. The relationship between the frequencies of floods and climatic variations needs to be explored further. However, the development of coastal settlements has certainly increased vulnerability, and hence the risk of flood disasters.

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Zong, Y., Tooley, M.J. A Historical Record of Coastal Floods in Britain: Frequencies and Associated Storm Tracks. Natural Hazards 29, 13–36 (2003). https://doi.org/10.1023/A:1022942801531

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  • Storm
  • coastal flood
  • frequency
  • storm track
  • historical records