Publication Abstracts

Gornitz 2005

Gornitz, V., 2005: Storm surge. In Encyclopedia of Coastal Science. M.L. Schwartz, Ed., Encyclopedia of Earth Sciences Series, Springer, pp. 912-914.

A storm surge is the increase in ocean water level near the coast generated by a passing storm, above that resulting from astronomical tides. The atmosphere acts on the sea in two distinctly different ways. A reduction in the atmospheric pressure reduces the vertical forces acting on a column of water beneath the sea surface, causing the sea water to rise, and vice versa. Another major meteorological process contributing to the surge ssis the drag or stress on the sea surface due to the wind. Wind stress depends upon the wind speed and air density. The wind strength as well as direction relative to the coastline are important factors in elevating the sea surface. Wind blowing toward the coast causes a much greater rise in sea surface than wind blowing parallel to the shore. The effect of the wind increases inversely with water depth. Thus the surge is amplified when wind blows over wide regions of shallow water. The superposition of wave run-up on a high surge increases the strom hazard.

Two distinct types of meteorological disturbances produce major surges leading to coastal flooding and beach erosion. These include tropical and extratropical cyclones. Tropical cyclones are usually small in extent but very powerful. Extratropical cyclones typically have lower wind speeds, yet they inflict considerable damage because they cover a wider area.

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BibTeX Citation

  author={Gornitz, V.},
  editor={Schwartz, M. L.},
  title={Storm surge},
  booktitle={Encyclopedia of Coastal Science},
  address={Dordrecht, the Netherlands},
  series={Encyclopedia of Earth Sciences Series},

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RIS Citation

ID  - go06300n
AU  - Gornitz, V.
ED  - Schwartz, M. L.
PY  - 2005
TI  - Storm surge
BT  - Encyclopedia of Coastal Science
T3  - Encyclopedia of Earth Sciences Series
SP  - 912
EP  - 914
PB  - Springer
CY  - Dordrecht, the Netherlands
ER  -

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