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Simultaneous meteorological tsunamis and storm surges at Buenos Aires coast, southeastern South America

  • Walter C. Dragani
  • Enrique E. D’Onofrio
  • Fernando Oreiro
  • Guadalupe Alonso
  • Mónica Fiore
  • Walter Grismeyer
Original Paper

Abstract

Meteorological tsunamis are frequently observed in different tide stations at the southeastern coast of South America. They are associated with the occurrence of atmospheric gravity waves during the passages of cold fronts over the Buenos Aires Province continental shelf. On the other hand, storm surges are also frequent in the region, and they are associated with strong and persistent southerlies, which are also frequent during cold front passages. The impact of meteorological tsunamis in coastal erosion and in the statistics of storm surge trends is discussed in this paper. For this study, fifteen meteorological tsunamis (with maximum wave heights higher than 0.20 m), seven of them simultaneous to the occurrence of storm surge events (with extreme levels higher than |±0.60 m|), are selected from April 2010 to January 2013. The impact of meteorological tsunamis in the storm erosion potential index (SEPI) is evaluated. Not significant differences are obtained between SEPI calculated with and without filtering the meteorological tsunami signal from the storm surge data series. Moreover, several experiments are carried out computing SEPI from synthetic sea level data series, but very low changes (lower than 4 %) are also obtained. It is concluded that the presence of moderate meteorological tsunamis on sea level records would not enhance this index at the Buenos Aires Province coast. On the other hand, taking into account that meteorological tsunamis can reach up the 20–30 % of the storm surge height, it was concluded that the statistics of storm surge trends (and their uncertainties) should be revised for Mar del Plata data series.

Keywords

Meteorological tsunamis Storm surges Meteorological cold front passages Coastal erosion Buenos Aires Province coast 

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Notes

Acknowledgments

This paper is a contribution to the PIP 112-200801-02599, PIP 112-201101-00176 and UBACyT GC 20020100100840.

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  • Walter C. Dragani
    • 1
    • 2
    • 3
    • 4
  • Enrique E. D’Onofrio
    • 1
    • 5
  • Fernando Oreiro
    • 1
    • 5
  • Guadalupe Alonso
    • 1
    • 2
    • 3
  • Mónica Fiore
    • 1
    • 5
  • Walter Grismeyer
    • 1
    • 5
  1. 1.Servicio de Hidrografía NavalCiudad Autónoma de Buenos AiresArgentina
  2. 2.CONICET, Consejo Nacional de Investigaciones Científicas y TécnicasCiudad Autónoma de Buenos AiresArgentina
  3. 3.Departamento de Ciencias de la Atmósfera y los Océanos, Facultad de Ciencias Exactas y Naturales, UBACiudad UniversitariaCiudad Autónoma de Buenos AiresArgentina
  4. 4.Instituto Franco-Argentino para el Estudio del Clima y sus Impactos (UMI IFAECI/CNRS-CONICET-UBA)Ciudad UniversitariaCiudad Autónoma de Buenos AiresArgentina
  5. 5.Instituto de Geodesia y Geofísica Aplicadas, Facultad de IngenieríaUniversidad de Buenos AiresCiudad Autónoma de Buenos AiresArgentina

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