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Coastal Inundation
Coastal inundation is flooding caused by sea water in which land becomes inundated during high tides and storm surges. These events are usually caused by high tides in combination with rising sea levels and changing weather systems. Exposed properties are at risk of severe and widespread physical damage in these events.

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Effects of Climate Change on Coastal Inundation

As global temperatures increase, ice sheets are melting which causes sea levels to rise. Combined with low pressure systems and strong winds, storm surges can cause coastal flooding.
Rising Sea Levels
As ocean temperatures rise, ice sheets melt, increasing the ocean's volume. Warm water also takes up more space than cold water which elevates sea levels.
Storm Surge
The combination of low pressure systems, wind and high tides, pushes seawater further inland towards infrastructure.
Erosion of Coastal Terrain
Clearing of plants and dunes along the coast for development removes a line of defense against the impacts of coastal inundation.

Contextual Data

Climate Risk Engines collates data on rising sea levels, shifting terrestrial heights, historical tides and extreme sea events to assess the risk to a property. The frequency and extremity of previous sea events are taken into account, as are adjustments for land movements.
Tidal Gauges
A range of national tidal gauges gives us a distribution of tide levels and extreme sea events along coastal areas.
Ground Elevation
Analysis uses data from Lidar (laser) mapping and satellite imagery to assess the height of ground above sea level.
Land Movement
As tectonic plates shift, land masses may move above or below previously recorded sea levels.

Asset Data

The vulnerability of a property flooding from coastal inundation is determined by a range of characteristics; proximity to the coast, elevation, foundations of the building and materials used are key determinants. Properties that have a low elevation and are close to the coast with no physical barriers or protection are more at risk to extreme weather events.

The way a building's foundations and materials respond to water also helps determine its vulnerability (materials like concrete slab, waterproof membranes in the walls and glass blocks are more resilient than wood and traditional brickwork.)

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