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A systematic assessment of maritime disruptions affecting UK ports, coastal areas and surrounding seas from 1950 to 2014

A systematic assessment of maritime disruptions affecting UK ports, coastal areas and surrounding seas from 1950 to 2014
A systematic assessment of maritime disruptions affecting UK ports, coastal areas and surrounding seas from 1950 to 2014
Maritime disruptions can have severe negative implications including affecting business operations, regional and national economies and causing damage to vessels. This study analysed maritime disruptions in UK ports, coastal areas and surrounding seas from 1950 to 2014, systematically assessing their scale, duration, extent and consequences. Disruptions are a single or sequence of hazardous events that negatively affect 'business as usual' conditions, ranging from minor to major disruption and even loss of life. To express this range a severity scale was developed and applied. A database of maritime disruptions and their severities was constructed using data archaeology, identifying 88 events, primarily caused by wind storms (36%), human error (23%), mechanical faults (14%) and storm surges (12%). All events other than human error or mechanical faults occurred between October and March (typically associated with autumn/winter storms and depressions), with 65% recorded between November and January. Maritime disruptions from weather events tended to have regional/national impacts, whereas human error or mechanical faults were usually locally severe. Since 2000 ports demonstrated more frequent disruption to wind storms due to mechanisation, increased delay and closure reporting, and refined health and safety regulations. Most frequently affected were the sea areas Fair Isle and Dover, and the Felixstowe and Dover ports. Through time, primary impacts shifted from extensive flooding and structural damage to financial impacts and disruption, associated with adaptation including implementation/upgrading of coastal defences, storm warning systems and legislation. Port and governmental bodies responded adaptively (e.g. Thames Barrier construction and development of automatic tracking systems). The UK's maritime disruption vulnerability has altered significantly since 1950 and continues to evolve.
extreme events, UK, EEZ, coastal areas, ports, disruptions
0921-030X
691-713
Adam, Esme
2a96cf53-f805-4514-9224-829c3dd92c0b
Brown, Sally
dd3c5852-78cc-435a-9846-4f3f540f2840
Nicholls, Robert
4ce1e355-cc5d-4702-8124-820932c57076
Tsimplis, Michael
df6dd749-cda4-46ec-983c-bf022d737031
Adam, Esme
2a96cf53-f805-4514-9224-829c3dd92c0b
Brown, Sally
dd3c5852-78cc-435a-9846-4f3f540f2840
Nicholls, Robert
4ce1e355-cc5d-4702-8124-820932c57076
Tsimplis, Michael
df6dd749-cda4-46ec-983c-bf022d737031

Adam, Esme, Brown, Sally, Nicholls, Robert and Tsimplis, Michael (2016) A systematic assessment of maritime disruptions affecting UK ports, coastal areas and surrounding seas from 1950 to 2014. Natural Hazards, 83 (1), 691-713. (doi:10.1007/s11069-016-2347-4).

Record type: Article

Abstract

Maritime disruptions can have severe negative implications including affecting business operations, regional and national economies and causing damage to vessels. This study analysed maritime disruptions in UK ports, coastal areas and surrounding seas from 1950 to 2014, systematically assessing their scale, duration, extent and consequences. Disruptions are a single or sequence of hazardous events that negatively affect 'business as usual' conditions, ranging from minor to major disruption and even loss of life. To express this range a severity scale was developed and applied. A database of maritime disruptions and their severities was constructed using data archaeology, identifying 88 events, primarily caused by wind storms (36%), human error (23%), mechanical faults (14%) and storm surges (12%). All events other than human error or mechanical faults occurred between October and March (typically associated with autumn/winter storms and depressions), with 65% recorded between November and January. Maritime disruptions from weather events tended to have regional/national impacts, whereas human error or mechanical faults were usually locally severe. Since 2000 ports demonstrated more frequent disruption to wind storms due to mechanisation, increased delay and closure reporting, and refined health and safety regulations. Most frequently affected were the sea areas Fair Isle and Dover, and the Felixstowe and Dover ports. Through time, primary impacts shifted from extensive flooding and structural damage to financial impacts and disruption, associated with adaptation including implementation/upgrading of coastal defences, storm warning systems and legislation. Port and governmental bodies responded adaptively (e.g. Thames Barrier construction and development of automatic tracking systems). The UK's maritime disruption vulnerability has altered significantly since 1950 and continues to evolve.

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More information

Accepted/In Press date: 28 April 2016
e-pub ahead of print date: 7 May 2016
Published date: August 2016
Keywords: extreme events, UK, EEZ, coastal areas, ports, disruptions
Organisations: Energy & Climate Change Group, Marine Physics and Ocean Climate

Identifiers

Local EPrints ID: 393835
URI: https://eprints.soton.ac.uk/id/eprint/393835
ISSN: 0921-030X
PURE UUID: 6444c432-addf-486d-907b-1cf3d7dc1280
ORCID for Esme Adam: ORCID iD orcid.org/0000-0002-6384-4329
ORCID for Sally Brown: ORCID iD orcid.org/0000-0003-1185-1962
ORCID for Robert Nicholls: ORCID iD orcid.org/0000-0002-9715-1109

Catalogue record

Date deposited: 12 May 2016 08:11
Last modified: 17 Jul 2019 00:55

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