Long-term variability of storm surge frequency in the Venice Lagoon: an update thanks to 18th century sea level observations
- CNR, Istituto di Scienze Marine, Trieste, Italy
Abstract. Sea level observations made in the Venice Lagoon between 1751 and 1792 have been recovered, consisting of two time series of daily data on high and low waters in Venice and Chioggia. From comparisons with modern observations, the quality of the 18th century data appears to be good enough to allow a useful analysis. A composite time series of daily mean sea level is obtained by merging the 18th century data and 1872–2004 observations in Venice Punta della Salute. The absence of reliable information on vertical references prevents the connection of the two 18th century time series with each other and with modern observations. However, daily sea level anomalies relative to the mean sea level enable us to recognize storm surge events that appear to occur more frequently in the second half of the 18th century than in the late 19th and 20th centuries, particularly during the 1751–1769 period. The record-breaking storm surge of 4 November 1966 turns out to be a remarkable event even in comparison to the events extracted from the 18th century time series. Further work is required to fill the gap between the old and modern observations.