Encyclopedia of Natural Hazards

2013 Edition
| Editors: Peter T. Bobrowsky


  • Giovanni CuomoEmail author
Reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-1-4020-4399-4_339


Sea level rise; Wave setup


A surge is a relatively long lasting increase in water level. Surges result from the combination of a series of factors including: sea level rise, astronomical tide, wind setup, atmospheric pressure gradient, wave setup, tsunami, and seiches. These phenomena become more evident in shallow water and coastal regions where their effects are enhanced by local bathymetric and topographic features.


The (eustatic) sea level rise results from melting of the polar ice caps and thermal expansion of the water mass with temperature change. Observation suggests that it has occurred at a mean rate of 1.8 mm/year for the past century with more recent estimates (1993–2003) indicating an actual rise of 3 mm/year.

Astronomical tides are periodic oscillations of the sea level caused by the gravitational attraction of the Moon, the Sun, and the other astronomical bodies acting on the rotating Earth. Tides are the largest sources of short-term...

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  1. Harris, D. L., 1963. Characteristics of the Hurricane Storm Surge. Technical Paper No. 48. U.S. Dept. of Commerce, Weather Bureau, Washington, DC, 139 pp. Available online at: http://www.csc.noaa.gov/hes/images/pdf/CHARACTERISTICS_STORM_SURGE.pdf
  2. Wiegel, R. L., 1964. Tsunamis, storm surges, and harbor oscillations. In Oceanographical Engineering. Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice-Hall, Chap. 5, pp. 95–127.Google Scholar

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© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Hydraulics Applied Research & Engineering Consulting (HAREC) s.r.l.RomeItaly