Conference Contribution Details
Mandatory Fields
R. Scarrott, N. Dwyer, H. Snaith, P. Cipollini
Irish Earth Observation Symposium 2012
eSurge: Improving storm surge prediction with satellite information
Department of Spatial Information Sciences Dublin Institute of Technology (DIT) Bolton Street, Dublin 1
Oral Presentation
Optional Fields

A storm surge is an abnormally high sea level produced by severe atmospheric conditions. Much of the Earth’s coastline, including parts of Ireland, is potentially at risk from extensive flooding, with major damage to property and infrastructure, and in severe cases, loss of life. As such, it is critical that appropriate models and forecasting algorithms are developed, whose outputs can be used to accurately and appropriately forewarn at-risk coastal populations, or aid them in developing their social and infrastructural capacity to withstand such events in future.

Currently, modelling and forecasting efforts predominantly focus on using in-situ data, Numerical Weather Prediction and Numerical Ocean Prediction as inputs.   However, there are several ways in which Earth Observation data could be used to improve storm surge forecasting. For example, sea surface wind-speed (from scatterometers) and sea surface height (from altimeters) can be monitored, whilst storm systems and conditions can be tracked. To this end, the ESA-funded eSurge project aims both to provide easy access to relevant Earth Observation data, whilst encouraging its uptake into on-going storm-surge modelling and forecasting efforts. The eSurge consortium (led by Logica UK and consisting of KNMI, DMI, NOC, and UCC’s CMRC with Techworks Marine) aims to demonstrate the value of using EO data. Running online courses and a training workshop in Ireland, eSurge will build capacity in making best use of available data in forecasting, data assimilation, and on-going research. Model and satellite data on up to 200 historical storm surge events will be provided via the eSurge website (, with which researchers can explore and understand the developing surge events. These historical data also includes a number of Irish events, with validation datasets (derived from survey data supplied by the Irish Office of Public Works) being available alongside the Earth Observation and modelled data products.

European Space Agency