13 May 2024
 | 13 May 2024
Status: this preprint is currently under review for the journal NHESS.

Brief Communication: From modeling to reality – Insights from a recent severe storm surge event along the German Baltic Sea coast

Joshua Kiesel, Claudia Wolff, and Marvin Lorenz

Abstract. In October 2023, Germany and Denmark’s Baltic Sea coasts experienced a severe storm surge, predominantly impacting the German state of Schleswig-Holstein and parts of southern Denmark. The surge led to extensive flooding in cities like Flensburg and Schleswig, causing the breaching of at least seven (regional) dikes and causing over 200 million Euros in damages in Schleswig-Holstein. This surge offers crucial insights for our understanding of flooding impacts, flood management and modelling. By analyzing recent studies from the region and extensive media reports, we aim to extract key insights and propose strategies for improving flood risk modelling in the Baltic Sea region and beyond.

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Joshua Kiesel, Claudia Wolff, and Marvin Lorenz

Status: open (until 24 Jun 2024)

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Joshua Kiesel, Claudia Wolff, and Marvin Lorenz
Joshua Kiesel, Claudia Wolff, and Marvin Lorenz


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Short summary
In October 2023, one of the strongest storm surges on record hit the southwestern Baltic Sea coast, causing severe impacts in the German federal state of Schleswig-Holstein including dike failures. Recent studies on coastal flooding from the same region align well with the October 23 surge, with differences in peak water levels of less than 30 cm. Here we use this rare coincidence to assess current capabilities and limitations of coastal flood modeling and derive key areas for future research.