SurgeWatch: A New Database to Help Prevent Coastal Flooding

Description: new national database has been created to help prevent future flooding events. This new database holds details of coastal flooding in the UK which has occurred over the last century, with the hope it’ll provide crucial information to stop such drastic hazards.

There are a number of defence contractors in the UK which supply rock armour for sea defence and marine projects. These construction companies work to protect the communities close by to the coasts throughout the whole of the UK, in order to prevent any further damage being made to the life of these communities, as well as the building surrounding them.

The database called SurgeWatch contains information about 96 large storms taken from tide gauge records, which record sea levels back to 1915. This data includes the highest sea levels produced by storms, as well as descriptions of the coastal flooding that took place during each event. 

This has been produced by a number of researchers, one of which is a lecturer in Coastal Oceanography named Dr Ivan Haigh. He says, “The winter of 2014 saw some of the UK’s most extreme sea levels, waves and coastal flooding for several decades. 

“During this period storms repeatedly subjected large areas of our coast to enormous stress and damage, reminding us of the real and ever-present risks and challenges facing coastal communities today.”

Coastal flooding remains a threat to economic and environmental assets, as well as to life. Therefore, this database will enable others in the industry to improve their understanding of the statistics of extreme sea levels around the UK. For sea defence contractors in the UK, this will be a useful tool. 

It’s vital that there is continual investment in defences for seafronts, as well as the forecasting and monitoring of the information compiled from SurgeWatch. It has shown that seven out of the 96 storms documented over the last 100 years, were those that took place during the winter of 2013/14. 

The damage caused by one of the biggest storms out of the seven last year, was limited in comparison to the tragedy of the storm which took place in January 1953 along the UK’s North sea coast. Therefore the investment is crucial, especially as the coastal defence sector begins to grow. 

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