Long-term Storm Surge Simulation to Indicate the Climate Change Trends in the Past and in the Future

Description

Damage to properties and Highway 132 at Mont-Joli, Quebec, caused by the storm surge of December 6, 2011.

Storm surges can cause significant damage to marine infrastructure. Climate change may result in more harmful storm surges in the future and accurately assessing coastal vulnerability to climate change is an important step in mitigating these impacts. Assessing the future impacts of storm surges is challenging because predictions on future water level predictions are not available. Researchers aim to address this challenge by using recent developments in both climate and storm surge modelling to develop predictions of how water levels will respond for the next 100 years.

Results: In the first phase of this project, storm surges were simulated at 29 sites along the Atlantic Coast from 1979 to 2011. The results of the simulations were compared with real water level data from permanent tide gauges in the Quebec and Maritime regions to confirm the validity of the model. The second phase of this project is on-going and will use the same model to simulate future water level projections based on climate change scenarios.

Program Name

Aquatic Climate Change Adaptation Services Program (ACCASP)

Ecoregion(s)

Atlantic: Gulf of St. Lawrence, St. Lawrence Estuary

Principal Investigator(s)

Zhigang Xu
Fisheries and Oceans Canada, Québec Region

Denis Lefaivre
Fisheries and Oceans Canada, Québec Region

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