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Sea level extremes in the Caribbean Sea

Sea level extremes in the Caribbean Sea
Sea level extremes in the Caribbean Sea
Sea level extremes in the Caribbean Sea are analyzed on the basis of hourly records from 13 tide gauges. The largest sea level extreme observed is 83 cm at Port Spain. The largest nontidal residual in the records is 76 cm, forced by a category 5 hurricane. Storm surges in the Caribbean are primarily caused by tropical storms and stationary cold fronts intruding the basin. However, the seasonal signal and mesoscale eddies also contribute to the creation of extremes. The five stations that have more than 20 years of data show significant trends in the extremes suggesting that flooding events are expected to become more frequent in the future. The observed trends in extremes are caused by mean sea level rise. There is no evidence of secular changes in the storm activity. Sea level return periods have also been estimated. In the south Colombian Basin, where large hurricane-induced surges are rare, stable estimates can be obtained with 30 years of data or more. For the north of the basin, where large hurricane-induced surges are more frequent, at least 40 years of data are required. This suggests that the present data set is not sufficiently long for robust estimates of return periods. ENSO variability correlates with the nontidal extremes, indicating a reduction of the storm activity during positive ENSO events. The period with the highest extremes is around October, when the various sea level contributors' maxima coincide.
Caribbean Sea, sea level, extremes
2169-9275
4714-4731
Torres, R. Ricardo
d37085fe-b6e3-4d6f-a1a2-6daeb88c2fb4
Tsimplis, Michael N.
df6dd749-cda4-46ec-983c-bf022d737031
Torres, R. Ricardo
d37085fe-b6e3-4d6f-a1a2-6daeb88c2fb4
Tsimplis, Michael N.
df6dd749-cda4-46ec-983c-bf022d737031

Torres, R. Ricardo and Tsimplis, Michael N. (2014) Sea level extremes in the Caribbean Sea. Journal of Geophysical Research: Oceans, 119 (8), 4714-4731. (doi:10.1002/2014JC009929).

Record type: Article

Abstract

Sea level extremes in the Caribbean Sea are analyzed on the basis of hourly records from 13 tide gauges. The largest sea level extreme observed is 83 cm at Port Spain. The largest nontidal residual in the records is 76 cm, forced by a category 5 hurricane. Storm surges in the Caribbean are primarily caused by tropical storms and stationary cold fronts intruding the basin. However, the seasonal signal and mesoscale eddies also contribute to the creation of extremes. The five stations that have more than 20 years of data show significant trends in the extremes suggesting that flooding events are expected to become more frequent in the future. The observed trends in extremes are caused by mean sea level rise. There is no evidence of secular changes in the storm activity. Sea level return periods have also been estimated. In the south Colombian Basin, where large hurricane-induced surges are rare, stable estimates can be obtained with 30 years of data or more. For the north of the basin, where large hurricane-induced surges are more frequent, at least 40 years of data are required. This suggests that the present data set is not sufficiently long for robust estimates of return periods. ENSO variability correlates with the nontidal extremes, indicating a reduction of the storm activity during positive ENSO events. The period with the highest extremes is around October, when the various sea level contributors' maxima coincide.

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e-pub ahead of print date: 4 August 2014
Published date: August 2014
Keywords: Caribbean Sea, sea level, extremes
Organisations: Ocean and Earth Science, Marine Physics and Ocean Climate

Identifiers

Local EPrints ID: 367685
URI: http://eprints.soton.ac.uk/id/eprint/367685
ISSN: 2169-9275
PURE UUID: 235ca2d3-331d-47d9-ba39-5cb6211f0dc0

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Date deposited: 05 Aug 2014 10:39
Last modified: 11 Nov 2019 20:50

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