Preprints
https://doi.org/10.5194/nhess-2021-55
https://doi.org/10.5194/nhess-2021-55

  17 Mar 2021

17 Mar 2021

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

Correlation of wind waves and sea level variations on the coast of the seasonally ice-covered Gulf of Finland

Milla M. Johansson, Jan-Victor Björkqvist, Jani Särkkä, Ulpu Leijala, and Kimmo K. Kahma Milla M. Johansson et al.
  • Finnish Meteorological Institute, P.O. Box 503, FI-00101, Helsinki, Finland

Abstract. Both sea level variations and wind-generated waves affect coastal flooding risks. The correlation of these two phenomena complicates the estimates of their joint effect on the exceedance levels for the continuous water mass. In the northern Baltic Sea the seasonal occurrence of sea ice further influences the situation. We analysed this correlation with 28 years (1992–2019) of sea level data, and four years (2016–2019) of wave buoy measurements from a coastal location outside the City of Helsinki, Gulf of Finland. The wave observations were complemented by 28 years of simulations with a parametric wave model. The sea levels and waves at this location show strongest positive correlation (τ = 0.5) for southwesterly winds, while for northeasterly winds the correlation is negative (−0.3). The results were qualitatively similar when only the open water period was considered, or when the ice season was included either with zero wave heights or hypothetical no-ice wave heights. We calculated the observed probability distribution of the sum of the sea level and the highest individual wave crest from the simultaneous time series. Compared to this, a probability distribution of the sum calculated by assuming that the two variables are independent underestimates the total water levels corresponding to one hour per 100 years by 0.1–1.2 m. We tested three Archimedean copulas, of which the Gumbel copula best accounted for the mutual dependence between the two variables.

Milla M. Johansson et al.

Status: final response (author comments only)

Comment types: AC – author | RC – referee | CC – community | EC – editor | CEC – chief editor | : Report abuse
  • RC1: 'Comment on nhess-2021-55', Anonymous Referee #1, 01 Apr 2021
    • AC1: 'Reply on RC1', Milla M. Johansson, 31 Aug 2021
  • RC2: 'Comment on nhess-2021-55', Anonymous Referee #2, 12 Apr 2021
    • AC2: 'Reply on RC2', Milla M. Johansson, 31 Aug 2021

Milla M. Johansson et al.

Milla M. Johansson et al.

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Short summary
We analysed the correlation of sea level and wind waves at a coastal location in the Gulf of Finland using tide gauge data, wave measurements and wave simulations. The correlation was positive for southwesterly winds and negative for northeasterly winds. Probabilities of high total water levels (sea level + wave crest) are underestimated if sea level and waves are considered independent. Of three Archimedean copulas, the Gumbel copula quantified the dependence of the variables best.
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