North Sea Storm Surges Case Study

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North Sea Storm Surges Case Study

1953 - Most serious storm surge in the 20th century in countries bordering the North Sea

Reasons for water accumulation were a deep Atlantic depression moving across Scotland - rapid fall in pressure may have been responsible for sea level rise of about 0.5m - anticyclone lying to the west of Britain, meaning a steep pressure gradient leading to strong winds moving south across the North Sea - large fetch fom north, meaning storm waves of over 6m high 

Sea defences breached, especially in areas where dunes were relied upon

Thousands of hectares of low-lying land flooded

High damage to property, communication systems and agriculture including huge livestock losses

Over 250 people drowned in south east England

Over 1800 dead in the Netherlands - around 10% of agricultural land was flooded

Responses - Delta Scheme planned and Thames Barrier constructed

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