Dr Ivan Haigh

Lecturer in Coastal Oceanography


February 2013

Two new journal papers: Estimating present day extreme water level exceedance probabilities around the coastline of Australia

You might be interested in these two papers recently published online in climate dynamics.

Estimating present day extreme water level exceedance probabilities around the coastline of Australia: tides, extra-tropical storm surges and mean sea level (Part 1)

Estimating present day extreme water level exceedance probabilities around the coastline of Australia: tropical cyclone-induced storm surges (Part 2)

In this study we integrate two modeling techniques to provided estimates of present day extreme water level exceedance probabilities around the whole coastline of Australia. Estimates combine the influence of astronomical tides, storm surges generated by both extra-tropical and tropical cyclones, and seasonal and inter-annual variations in mean sea level. In the first paper we configured a high-resolution depth averaged hydrodynamic model for the Australian continental shelf region and used it to generate a 61-year time-series of historic water levels. This predicted dataset was validated against measurements from tide gauge sites and then used to estimate exceedance probabilities around the entire Australian coastline. Given the systematic underestimation of tropical cyclone-induced surge in that work, in the second paper a statistical tropical cyclone model was developed to more accurately include tropical cyclone induced surges in the estimation of extreme total water level probabilities. This model was then used to generate a 10,000 year synthetic tropical cyclone event set, based on characteristics of tropical cyclone activity over the last 40 years, for the Australian region. Wind and pressure fields were derived for these synthetic events and used to drive the hydrodynamic model. Annual maximum levels were calculated and used to estimate exceedance probabilities around the coast. Theses estimate were combined with those derived from the multi-decadal hindcast to give a single estimate of present day extreme water level probabilities around the whole coastline of Australia.


Visit to Florida – February 2013


I am currently in Florida for the month of February visiting Florida International University and the Marine Science Lab at the University of South Florida. It has been nice combining work with a bit of pleasure – my wife, daughter and mother-in-law came along for the ride. Got to do two things I have dreamed of doing since I was a wee nipper – went to a NBA game (Heat verse Rockets) and went on a airboat ride on the Everglades.

Remembering Asbury “Abby” Sallenger

Very sad to hear of the unexpected death of Asbury “Abby” Sallenger: I really enjoyed reading his recent paper on ‘Hotspot of accelerated sea-level rise on the Atlantic coast of North America‘.

Available PhD projects at NOC

We have a number of PhD projects available in coastal oceanography at the  National Oceanography Centre, University of Southampton:
1. Exploitation of new satellite altimetry data in the coastal zone to assess changes in sea surface height and wave climate.
2. Formation, persistence and spacing of rip channels in different coastal environments
3. Morphological evolution of managed realignment schemes
4. The concept of equilibrium in the dynamics of inlets and estuaries.
Please pass around to anyone you know who might be interested. You can apply online at: or contact me if you have any questions.

Peer review isn’t perfect … and the media doesn’t always help

Click here for a very interesting article by a friend of mine:

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