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MICORE - Morphological Impacts and Coastal Risks induced by Extreme storm events

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Summary information

Funding:FP7 - Collaborative Research Project – Small or Mediumscale Focused Research
Total cost:4600000
Ec contribution:3500000
Start date:2008-06-01
End date:2011-05-31
Duration:36 months
Coordinator:Paolo Ciavola (
Organisation:Universita Degli Studi di Ferrara – Italy
Themes:Storm frequency and intensity; erosion; socio-economic consequences
Regio:North Atlantic; Baltic Sea; Mediterranean Sea; North Sea; Black Sea
Keywords:Marine storms; disaster reduction; storm impact indicators
Project name:MICORE - Morphological Impacts and Coastal Risks induced by Extreme storm events
Project summary:Both the EU and The United Nations are now taking seriously the predicted climate change scenarios of the IPCC. Of particular relevance to Integrated Coastal Zone Management is the predicted increase in the intensity and frequency of powerful storm events characterised by larger peak wind speeds and consequently larger waves. Therefore, the MICORE project will provide the knowledge necessary to assess the present day risks and to study the economic and social impact of future severe storm events. The project will also develop operational predictive tools in support of emergency response to storm events. Together, these elements will have an important strategic impact on the safety of the people living in coastal areas. The project will also investigate with stakeholders and end-users the possibilities of producing EU-wide guidelines for a viable and reliable risk mitigation strategy. MICORE will produce an up-to-date database for each partner country that will include: an historical review of storms; an inventory of data related to the forcing signals; quantification of the morphological response of coastal systems to storms and to sequences of storms; an assessment of socio-economic impact; a description of existing civil protection schemes and interventions.

The specific objectives of the MICORE project are:

1. To undertake a review of historical marine storms that had a significant impact on a representative number of sensitive European regional coastlines. The diverse range of coastal regions of the European Union is selected according to wave exposure, tidal regime and socio-economical pressures. They include outmost regions of the European Union at the border with surrounding states (e.g. the area of the Gibraltar Strait, the Baltic and Black Sea), as well as coastlines bordering open ocean and semi-enclosed shelf seas.

2. To collate data related to occurrence of significant extreme events and socio-economic impacts in a database. Parameters will include:
- characteristics of the storms: wind and wave measurements, wave hindcasts, tide measurements, surge computations;
- morphological impacts including pre- and post-storm beach profiles, presence of dune overwashing/overtopping, damage to coastal structures;
- socio-economic impact including cost of reconstruction, loss of lives and property, dune reconstruction and beach replenishment;
- civil protection schemes, implementation of warning systems and preparation of hazard and vulnerability maps;
- competent authorities and statutory bodies and voluntary organisations for warnings

3.To undertake monitoring of nine European case study sites for a period of 1 year with the following aims:
- to collect new data sets of bathymetry and topography using state-of-the-art technology (Lidar, ARGUS, Radar, DGPS); to simultaneously measure the forcing agents (wind and waves, tides, surges) that trigger the events;
- to map the impact of the storms on living and non-living resources using portable GIS methods.

4.To test and develop reliable methods for numerical modelling of storm-induced morphological changes for the following purposes:
- to test the predictive capability of wave and surge hindcast models routinely used by end users in each region of interest;
- to link morphological models with wave hindcast models;
- to evaluate the accuracy of off-the-shelf morphological models for prediction of extreme erosion hot-spots;
- to test and develop a new open-source morphological model for the prediction of storm impacts.

5.To set-up real-time warning systems and to implement their use within Civil Protection agencies with the aim of:
- linking morphological models with wave hindcast models;
- preparing early warning protocols;
- developing an expert system in support of long-term disaster reduction including timely disaster relief operations.

6. To disseminate results to end users at national, European and International levels through:
- a series of non-technical workshops;
- production of a multilanguage report;
- production of a storm impact video-clips;
- implementation of an interactive website with Web-GIS technology.