·

2013/14 winter season in Europe most energetic since 1948

2013-14-winter-season-in-europe-most-energetic-since-1948

A new study, encompassing the modelled and measured data sets from Scotland, Ireland, England, France, Portugal, Spain and Morocco, show that the extreme weather conditions which occurred during the 2013/14 winter season, were the most energetic since at least 1948. The continuing trend of such conditions could lead to permanent changes in beach gradient, coastal alignment and nearshore bar positions across the affected areas.

Newest research results show extensive beach and dune erosion induced by the offshore sediment transport along the open coastal parts of the UK and France. Sediment losses ranged up to 200 cubic meters (7 000 cubic feet) for every 1-meter (3-foot) strip of beach.

Numerous other study sites showed the disrupted balance between different alongshore sediment transport contribution. This has caused the so-called beach rotation changes in coastal alignment.

“We have previously conducted research showing the devastating effects caused to the UK by the stormy winter of 2013/14. But the damage caused to coastal communities there was replicated – and in some cases exceeded – across western France. All but one of the sites assessed for this study reached their most depleted state at the end of the 2014 winter, and it will take many years for them to fully recover," said Gerd Masselink, professor of coastal geomorphology at Plymouth University in the United Kingdom and the study’s lead author. 

The storms that battered Europe's Atlantic coastline during the winter of 2013/14 were the most energetic in almost seven decades, according to new research. Some of these storms featured extreme waves, such as this one crashing on Chesil Beach in Dorset, southern England, on February 5, 2014. Image credit: Richard Broome

Experts have utilised modelled and measured wave data from the eastern Atlantic and analyzed long-term beach profile data from parts of Ireland, UK and France for the purpose of the study.

According to the results, the extreme wave conditions occurred about five times more frequently during the winter season of 2013/14. At the same time, the recorded winter wave heights were up to 40% higher than usual.

The trend of such extreme weather conditions holds the potential to influence strongly the equilibrium state of beaches along the western portion of the European continent. This could lead to permanent changes in beach gradient, coastal alignment and nearshore bar position.

Coastal beauty spots have suffered years worth of erosion in just a few weeks due to the winter storms that have repeatedly battered the UK during winter 2013/14. Video credit: Current News

“The extreme winter of 2013/14 is in line with historical trends in wave conditions and is also predicted to increasingly occur due to climate change according to some of the climate models, with the winter of 2015/16 also set to be among the stormiest of the past 70 years. Whether due to more intense and/or more frequent storms, it should undoubtedly be considered in future coastal and sea defense planning along the Atlantic coast of Europe,” said Tim Scott, a lecturer in ocean exploration at Plymouth University and a co-author of the study.

Reference:

  • "Extreme wave activity during 2013/2014 winter and morphological impacts along the Atlantic coast of Europe" – Gerd Masselink, Bruno Castelle, Tim Scott, Guillaume Dodet, Serge Suanez, Derek Jackson, and France Floc’h – Geophysical Research Letters (2016) – doi:10.1002/2015GL067492

Featured image: The storms that battered Europe's Atlantic coastline during the winter of 2013/14 were the most energetic in almost seven decades, according to new research. Some of these storms featured extreme waves, such as this one crashing on Chesil Beach in Dorset, southern England, on February 5, 2014. Image credit: Richard Broome

If you value what we do here, create your ad-free account and support our journalism.

Share:


Your support makes a difference

Dear valued reader,

We hope that our website has been a valuable resource for you.

The reality is that it takes a lot of time, effort, and resources to maintain and grow this website. We rely on the support of readers like you to keep providing high-quality content.

If you have found our website to be helpful, please consider making a contribution to help us continue to bring you the information you need. Your support means the world to us and helps us to keep doing what we love.

Support us by choosing your support level – Silver, Gold or Platinum. Other support options include Patreon pledges and sending us a one-off payment using PayPal.

Thank you for your consideration. Your support is greatly appreciated.

Sincerely,
Teo Blašković

$5 /month

  • Ad-free account
  • Clean user interface and fast browsing
  • Direct communication with us via chat and email
  • Suggest new features, content and applications
  • Early access to new apps and features

$50 /year

$10 /month

  • Ad-free account
  • Clean user interface and fast browsing
  • Direct communication with us via chat and email
  • Suggest new features, content and applications
  • Early access to new apps and features

$100 /year

$25 /month

  • Ad-free account
  • Clean user interface and fast browsing
  • Direct communication with us via chat and email
  • Suggest new features, content and applications
  • Early access to new apps and features

$200 /year

You can also support us on Patreon

support us on patreon

or by sending us a one-off payment using PayPal:


Commenting rules and guidelines

We value the thoughts and opinions of our readers and welcome healthy discussions on our website. In order to maintain a respectful and positive community, we ask that all commenters follow these rules:

  • Treat others with kindness and respect.
  • Stay on topic and contribute to the conversation in a meaningful way.
  • Do not use abusive or hateful language.
  • Do not spam or promote unrelated products or services.
  • Do not post any personal information or content that is illegal, obscene, or otherwise inappropriate.

We reserve the right to remove any comments that violate these rules. By commenting on our website, you agree to abide by these guidelines. Thank you for helping to create a positive and welcoming environment for all.

Leave a reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *