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A nonstationary analysis for the Northern Adriatic extreme sea levels

September 25, 2013

The historical data from the Trieste, Venice, Porto Corsini, and Rimini tide gauges have been used to investigate the spatial and temporal changes in extreme high water levels in the Northern Adriatic. A detailed analysis of annual mean sea level evolution at the three longest operating stations shows a coherent behavior both on a regional and global scale. A slight increase in magnitude of extreme water elevations, after the removal of the regularized annual mean sea level necessary to eliminate the effect of local subsidence and sea level rise, is found at the Venice and Porto Corsini stations. It seems to be mainly associated with a wind regime change occurred in the 1990s, due to an intensification of Bora wind events after their decrease in frequency and intensity during the second half of the 20th century. The extreme values, adjusted for the annual mean sea level trend, are modeled using a time-dependent GEV distribution. The inclusion of seasonality in the GEV parameters considerably improves the data fitting. The interannual fluctuations of the detrended monthly maxima exhibit a significant correlation with the variability of the large-scale atmospheric circulation represented by the North Atlantic Oscillation and Arctic Oscillation indices. The different coast exposure to the Bora and Sirocco winds and their seasonal character explain the various seasonal patterns of extreme sea levels observed at the tide gauges considered in the present analysis.

Masina M, Lamberti A, in press. A nonstationary analysis for the Northern Adriatic extreme sea levels, Journal of Geophysical Research: Oceans, Journal of Geophysical Research: Oceans, 2013, doi:10.1002/jgrc.20313. Article.

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