Articles | Volume 11, issue 10
Nat. Hazards Earth Syst. Sci., 11, 2791–2801, 2011

Special issue: The record of marine storminess along European coastlines

Nat. Hazards Earth Syst. Sci., 11, 2791–2801, 2011

Research article 20 Oct 2011

Research article | 20 Oct 2011

Using 18th century storm-surge data from the Dutch Coast to improve the confidence in flood-risk estimates

F. Baart1,2, M. A. J. Bakker3, A. van Dongeren2, C. den Heijer1,2, S. van Heteren3, M. W. J. Smit4, M. van Koningsveld1,5, and A. Pool6 F. Baart et al.
  • 1Delft University of Technology, Faculty of Civil Engineering and Geosciences, Delft, The Netherlands
  • 2Deltares, Delft, The Netherlands
  • 3Geological Survey of the Netherlands (TNO), Utrecht, The Netherlands
  • 4Netherlands Institute of Ecology, Centre for Estuarine and Marine Ecology (NIOO CEME), Yerseke, The Netherlands
  • 5Van Oord Dredging and Marine Contractors, Rotterdam, The Netherlands
  • 6Jelmer, Vinkeveen, The Netherlands

Abstract. For the design of cost-effective coastal defence a precise estimate is needed of the 1/10 000 per year storm surge. A more precise estimate requires more observations. Therefore, the three greatest storm surges that hit the northern part of the Holland Coast in the 18th century are reconstructed. The reconstructions are based on paintings, drawings, written records and shell deposits that have recently appeared. The storm-surge levels of these storms have been estimated using numerical modelling of the coastal processes. Here we show how these reconstructions can be used in combination with extreme value statistics to give a more confident estimate of low probability events.