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Earth System Dynamics An interactive open-access journal of the European Geosciences Union
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https://doi.org/10.5194/esd-2016-76
© Author(s) 2017. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License.
https://doi.org/10.5194/esd-2016-76
© Author(s) 2017. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License.

  31 Jan 2017

31 Jan 2017

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This preprint was under review for the journal ESD but the revision was not accepted.

Inverse Gaussian distribution of wave set-up heights along a shoreline with complicated geometry

Tarmo Soomere1,2 and Katri Pindsoo1 Tarmo Soomere and Katri Pindsoo
  • 1Laboratory of Wave Engineering, Institute of Cybernetics at Tallinn University of Technology, Akadeemia tee 21, Tallinn, 12618, Estonia
  • 2Estonian Academy of Sciences, Kohtu 6, Tallinn, 10130, Estonia

Abstract. The phenomenon of wave set-up may substantially contribute to the formation of devastating coastal flooding in certain coastal sections. We study empirical probability distribution of the occurrence of different set-up heights in section of coastline near Tallinn in the Gulf of Finland, the eastern Baltic Sea. The shoreline in the study area is often attacked by high waves from various directions and also has a complex geometry. Shown is that this distribution substantially deviates from the Rayleigh or the Weibull distribution that usually reflect the distribution of different wave heights. The distribution of wave set-up heights matches a Wald (inverse Gaussian) distribution along the entire study area. Even though different sections of the study area are open to different directions and host substantially different wave regimes, the leading term of the exponent in the associated inverse Gaussian distribution varies insignificantly along the study area and generally is close to −1. This appearance signals that extreme set-up events are substantially more probable that it could be expected from the probability of occurrence of severe seas. This feature is invariant with respect to the orientation of the coastline and with respect to the properties of local wave climate.

Tarmo Soomere and Katri Pindsoo

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Tarmo Soomere and Katri Pindsoo

Tarmo Soomere and Katri Pindsoo

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Short summary
Wave-induced set-up is a nonlinear phenomenon that results in a rise in the mean water level at the waterline and may contribute to the formation of coastal flooding. We study the shape of probability distribution of the wave set-up heights near Tallinn in the Baltic Sea. Resulted distribution deviates from the ones that usually reflect the wave heights, this signals that extreme set-up events are more probable that it could be expected from the probability of occurrence of severe seas.
Wave-induced set-up is a nonlinear phenomenon that results in a rise in the mean water level at...
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