Effects of sea level rise on storm surge and waves within the Yangtze River Estuary

  • Yongming ShenEmail author
  • Gefei Deng
  • Zhihao Xu
  • Jun Tang
Research Article


Sea level rise (SLR) can cause water depth increase (WDI) and coastal inundation (CI). By applying the coupled FVCOM + SWAN model, this study investigates the potential impacts of WDI and CI, induced by a 1.0 m SLR, on storm surge and waves within the Yangtze River Estuary. A 1.0 m WDI decreases the maximum storm surge by 0.15 m and increases the maximum significant wave height by 0.35 m. The CI effect size is smaller when compared with WDI. CI decreases the maximum storm surge and significant wave height by 0.04 and 0.07 m, respectively. In the near-shore area, WDI significantly alters the local hydrodynamic environment, thereby stimulating changes in maximum storm surges and wave heights. Low-lying regions are negatively impacted by CI. Conversely, in deep-water areas, the relative change in water depth is minimal and the effect of CI is gradually enhanced. The combined effect of WDI and CI decreases the maximum surge by 0.31 m and increases the maximum significant wave height by 0.21 m. As a result, CI may be neglected when designing deep-water infrastructures. Nonetheless, the complex interactions between adoption and neglect of CI should be simulated to achieve the best seawall flood control standards and design parameters.


sea level rise FVCOM + SWAN coastal inundation Yangtze River Estuary 


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This research was funded by the National Natural Science Foundation of China (Grant Nos. 51779039 and 51879028).


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Copyright information

© Higher Education Press and Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Yongming Shen
    • 1
    • 2
    Email author
  • Gefei Deng
    • 1
  • Zhihao Xu
    • 3
  • Jun Tang
    • 1
  1. 1.State Key Laboratory of Coastal and Offshore EngineeringDalian University of TechnologyDalianChina
  2. 2.Institute of Environmental and Ecological EngineeringGuangdong University of TechnologyGuangzhouChina
  3. 3.Research Center for Eco-Environmental EngineeringDongguan University of TechnologyDongguanChina

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