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The impact of future sea-level rise on the global tides

The impact of future sea-level rise on the global tides
The impact of future sea-level rise on the global tides
Tides are a key component in coastal extreme water levels. Possible changes in the tides caused by mean sea-level rise (SLR) are therefore of importance in the analysis of coastal flooding, as well as many other applications. We investigate the effect of future SLR on the tides globally using a fully global forward tidal model: OTISmpi. Statistical comparisons of the modelled and observed tidal solutions demonstrate the skill of the refined model setup with no reliance on data assimilation. We simulate the response of the four primary tidal constituents to various SLR scenarios. Particular attention is paid to future changes at the largest 136 coastal cities, where changes in water level would have the greatest impact.

Spatially uniform SLR scenarios ranging from 0.5 to 10 m with fixed coastlines show that the tidal amplitudes in shelf seas globally respond strongly to SLR with spatially coherent areas of increase and decrease. Changes in the M2 and S2 constituents occur globally in most shelf seas, whereas changes in K1 and O1 are confined to Asian shelves. With higher SLR tidal changes are often not proportional to the SLR imposed and larger portions of mean high water (MHW) changes are above proportional. Changes in MHW exceed ±10% of the SLR at ~10% of coastal cities. SLR scenarios allowing for coastal recession tend increasingly to result in a reduction in tidal range. The fact that the fixed and recession shoreline scenarios result mainly in changes of opposing sign is explained by the effect of the perturbations on the natural period of oscillation of the basin. Our results suggest that coastal management strategies could influence the sign of the tidal amplitude change. The effect of a spatially varying SLR, in this case fingerprints of the initial elastic response to ice mass loss, modestly alters the tidal response with the largest differences at high latitudes.
0278-4343
50–68
Pickering, Mark
16f3f6fd-4b82-4706-9ff8-c5bb3f5cdee4
Horsburgh, K.J..
9d9af173-5a10-4b91-97a0-14e2694b8aa5
Blundell, Jeffrey
88114f32-6b76-46b2-b2d8-d6ef64a82b0d
Hirschi, J.J.-M.
fa6080bf-a5ce-4254-8c13-19b33a502a1f
Nicholls, Robert
4ce1e355-cc5d-4702-8124-820932c57076
Verlaan, M.
94c81bae-d88a-48dd-a825-0a568973966e
Wells, Neil
4c27167c-f972-4822-9614-d6ca8d8223b5
Pickering, Mark
16f3f6fd-4b82-4706-9ff8-c5bb3f5cdee4
Horsburgh, K.J..
9d9af173-5a10-4b91-97a0-14e2694b8aa5
Blundell, Jeffrey
88114f32-6b76-46b2-b2d8-d6ef64a82b0d
Hirschi, J.J.-M.
fa6080bf-a5ce-4254-8c13-19b33a502a1f
Nicholls, Robert
4ce1e355-cc5d-4702-8124-820932c57076
Verlaan, M.
94c81bae-d88a-48dd-a825-0a568973966e
Wells, Neil
4c27167c-f972-4822-9614-d6ca8d8223b5

Pickering, Mark, Horsburgh, K.J.., Blundell, Jeffrey, Hirschi, J.J.-M., Nicholls, Robert, Verlaan, M. and Wells, Neil (2017) The impact of future sea-level rise on the global tides. Continental Shelf Research, 142, 50–68. (doi:10.1016/j.csr.2017.02.004).

Record type: Article

Abstract

Tides are a key component in coastal extreme water levels. Possible changes in the tides caused by mean sea-level rise (SLR) are therefore of importance in the analysis of coastal flooding, as well as many other applications. We investigate the effect of future SLR on the tides globally using a fully global forward tidal model: OTISmpi. Statistical comparisons of the modelled and observed tidal solutions demonstrate the skill of the refined model setup with no reliance on data assimilation. We simulate the response of the four primary tidal constituents to various SLR scenarios. Particular attention is paid to future changes at the largest 136 coastal cities, where changes in water level would have the greatest impact.

Spatially uniform SLR scenarios ranging from 0.5 to 10 m with fixed coastlines show that the tidal amplitudes in shelf seas globally respond strongly to SLR with spatially coherent areas of increase and decrease. Changes in the M2 and S2 constituents occur globally in most shelf seas, whereas changes in K1 and O1 are confined to Asian shelves. With higher SLR tidal changes are often not proportional to the SLR imposed and larger portions of mean high water (MHW) changes are above proportional. Changes in MHW exceed ±10% of the SLR at ~10% of coastal cities. SLR scenarios allowing for coastal recession tend increasingly to result in a reduction in tidal range. The fact that the fixed and recession shoreline scenarios result mainly in changes of opposing sign is explained by the effect of the perturbations on the natural period of oscillation of the basin. Our results suggest that coastal management strategies could influence the sign of the tidal amplitude change. The effect of a spatially varying SLR, in this case fingerprints of the initial elastic response to ice mass loss, modestly alters the tidal response with the largest differences at high latitudes.

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Accepted/In Press date: 8 February 2017
e-pub ahead of print date: 15 February 2017
Published date: 15 June 2017
Organisations: Ocean and Earth Science, Energy & Climate Change Group, Physical Oceanography, National Oceanography Centre

Identifiers

Local EPrints ID: 407983
URI: http://eprints.soton.ac.uk/id/eprint/407983
ISSN: 0278-4343
PURE UUID: d8346a13-e6e3-4e74-972b-56a77bde6172
ORCID for Robert Nicholls: ORCID iD orcid.org/0000-0002-9715-1109

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Date deposited: 06 May 2017 01:02
Last modified: 10 Jan 2022 05:17

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Contributors

Author: Mark Pickering
Author: K.J.. Horsburgh
Author: J.J.-M. Hirschi
Author: Robert Nicholls ORCID iD
Author: M. Verlaan
Author: Neil Wells

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