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Development of an operational coastal flooding early warning system

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Author(s): D.-J. Doong | L. Z.-H. Chuang | L.-C. Wu | Y.-M. Fan | C. C. Kao | J.-H. Wang

Journal: Natural Hazards and Earth System Sciences
ISSN 1561-8633

Volume: 12;
Issue: 2;
Start page: 379;
Date: 2012;
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ABSTRACT
Coastal floods are a consistent threat to oceanfront countries, causing major human suffering and substantial economic losses. Climate change is exacerbating the problem. An early warning system is essential to mitigate the loss of life and property from coastal flooding. The purpose of this study is to develop a coastal flooding early warning system (CoFEWs) by integrating existing sea-state monitoring technology, numerical ocean forecasting models, historical database and experiences, as well as computer science. The proposed system has capability of offering data for the past, information for the present and future. The system was developed for the Taiwanese coast due to its frequent threat by typhoons. An operational system without any manual work is the basic requirement of the system. Integration of various data sources is the system kernel. Numerical ocean models play an important role within the system because they provide data for assessment of possible flooding. The regional wave model (SWAN) that nested with the large domain wave model (NWW III) is operationally set up for coastal wave forecasting, in addition to the storm surge predicted by a POM model. Data assimilation technology is incorporated for enhanced accuracy. A warning signal is presented when the storm water level that accumulated from astronomical tide, storm surge, and wave-induced run-up exceeds the alarm sea level. This warning system has been in practical use for coastal flooding damage mitigation in Taiwan for years. An example of the system operation during the Typhoon Haitung which struck Taiwan in 2005 is illustrated in this study.
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