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Uncertainties in Tidally Adjusted Estimates of Sea Level Rise Flooding (Bathtub Model) for the Greater London

Journal article
Authors Ali Yunus
Ram Avtar
Steven Kraines
Masumi Yamamuro
Fredrik Lindberg
C. Grimmond
Published in Remote Sensing
Volume 8
Issue 5
Pages artikel nr 366
ISSN 2072-4292
Publication year 2016
Published at Department of Earth Sciences
Pages artikel nr 366
Language en
Links dx.doi.org/10.3390/rs8050366
Subject categories Climate Research, Physical Geography, Hydrology

Abstract

Sea-level rise (SLR) from global warming may have severe consequences for coastal cities, particularly when combined with predicted increases in the strength of tidal surges. Predicting the regional impact of SLR flooding is strongly dependent on the modelling approach and accuracy of topographic data. Here, the areas under risk of sea water flooding for London boroughs were quantified based on the projected SLR scenarios reported in Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) fifth assessment report (AR5) and UK climatic projections 2009 (UKCP09) using a tidally-adjusted bathtub modelling approach. Medium- to very high-resolution digital elevation models (DEMs) are used to evaluate inundation extents as well as uncertainties. Depending on the SLR scenario and DEMs used, it is estimated that 3%–8% of the area of Greater London could be inundated by 2100. The boroughs with the largest areas at risk of flooding are Newham, Southwark, and Greenwich. The differences in inundation areas estimated from a digital terrain model and a digital surface model are much greater than the root mean square error differences observed between the two data types, which may be attributed to processing levels. Flood models from SRTM data underestimate the inundation extent, so their results may not be reliable for constructing flood risk maps. This analysis provides a broad-scale estimate of the potential consequences of SLR and uncertainties in the DEM-based bathtub type flood inundation modelling for London boroughs.

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