Tidal measurements from the Italian city of Venice, available since 1872 and constituting the longest sea-level record in the Mediterranean area, indicate that local flooding statistics have dramatically worsened during the last decades. Individual flooding episodes are associated with adverse meteorological conditions, and their increased frequency is mainly attributed to the rise of the average local Relative Sea Level (RSL). However, the role of interannual-to-multidecadal modes of average RSL variability in shaping the evolution of Venice flooding is highly significant and can cause sharp increases in the flood frequency episodes. Here, we use local tidal measurements in Venice covering 1872-2020 to deeply inspect the contribution and predictability of the different components characterizing the observed average RSL variability, including a long-term trend and four quasi-periodic modes. Our results demonstrate that the observed increase in flooding frequency is not only due to the average RSL rise but also due to a progressive widening of tidal anomalies around the average RSL, revealed by opposite trends in mean tidal maxima and minima. Moreover, interannual and decadal periodicities are not negligible in modulating the timing of annual mean RSL and flood frequency extremes. This study demonstrates that the last decades experienced an unprecedented sharp increase in sea level, which significantly affected the decadal predictability of RSL with statistical methods. Our work contributes to a deeper understanding of the sources of uncertainty in decadal sea-level variability and predictability in the Venice lagoon.

Interannual-to-multidecadal sea-level changes in the Venice lagoon and their impact on flood frequency

Rubinetti, S
;
Zanchettin, D;Rubino, A
2022-01-01

Abstract

Tidal measurements from the Italian city of Venice, available since 1872 and constituting the longest sea-level record in the Mediterranean area, indicate that local flooding statistics have dramatically worsened during the last decades. Individual flooding episodes are associated with adverse meteorological conditions, and their increased frequency is mainly attributed to the rise of the average local Relative Sea Level (RSL). However, the role of interannual-to-multidecadal modes of average RSL variability in shaping the evolution of Venice flooding is highly significant and can cause sharp increases in the flood frequency episodes. Here, we use local tidal measurements in Venice covering 1872-2020 to deeply inspect the contribution and predictability of the different components characterizing the observed average RSL variability, including a long-term trend and four quasi-periodic modes. Our results demonstrate that the observed increase in flooding frequency is not only due to the average RSL rise but also due to a progressive widening of tidal anomalies around the average RSL, revealed by opposite trends in mean tidal maxima and minima. Moreover, interannual and decadal periodicities are not negligible in modulating the timing of annual mean RSL and flood frequency extremes. This study demonstrates that the last decades experienced an unprecedented sharp increase in sea level, which significantly affected the decadal predictability of RSL with statistical methods. Our work contributes to a deeper understanding of the sources of uncertainty in decadal sea-level variability and predictability in the Venice lagoon.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/10278/5012563
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