02 Sep 2021

02 Sep 2021

Review status: this preprint is currently under review for the journal NHESS.

Storm surges and storm wind waves in the Caspian Sea in the present and future climate

Anna Pavlova1,2, Stanislav Myslenkov1,2,3, Victor Arkhipkin1, and Galina Surkova1 Anna Pavlova et al.
  • 1Lomonosov Moscow State University, Faculty of Geography, Moscow, Russia
  • 2Hydrometeorological Research Center of the Russian Federation, Moscow, Russia
  • 3Shirshov Institute of Oceanology, Russian Academy of Sciences, Moscow, Russia

Abstract. This study is devoted to the analysis of the storm surges and wind waves in the Caspian Sea for the period from 1979 to 2017–2020. The models used are the circulation model ADCIRC and the wave model WAVEWATCH III with wind and pressure forcing from the NCEP/CFSR reanalysis. The modeling is performed on the unstructured grid with spacing to 300–700 m in the coastal zone. Mean and extreme values of surges, wave parameters, and storm activity are provided.

The maximum significant wave height for the whole period amounts to 8.2 m. The average long-term SWH does not exceed 1.1 m. No significant trend in the storm activity was found.

The maximum surges height amounts to 2.7 m. Analysis of the interannual variability of the surges occurrence showed that 7–10 surges with a height of more than 1 meter were obtained per year and the total duration of all these surges was 20–30 days per year.

Assessment of the risk of coastal flooding was carried out by calculating the extreme values of the Sea for different return periods 5, 10, 25, 50, and 100 years. The extreme sea level values in the northern part of the Caspian Sea for the return period 100 years is close to 3 m and the areas with big surges are located along the eastern and western coasts.

Based on climatic scenarios of CMIP5, a forecast is made for the recurrence of storm wind waves in the 21st century. A statistically significant increase of storm waves recurrence in the future was found, but it is not dramatically growing.

Anna Pavlova et al.

Status: open (until 15 Oct 2021)

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Anna Pavlova et al.

Anna Pavlova et al.


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Short summary
This article presents new information about storm surges, wind waves, and their recurrence in the Caspian Sea based on the results of numerical modeling. The storm surges maximum is 2.7 m and it was observed in the northern part of the Sea for the modeling period (1979–2017). The extreme sea level values in the northern part of the Caspian Sea for the return period 100 years is close to 3 m. The significant wave height maximum is 8.2 m.