Quantcast Storm Surge

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Solana Beach Coastal Preservation Association
August 20, 1998
Project No. 1831
Page 17
3.2.2 Storm Surge
Storm surge represents the increase in sea level above the astronomical tides due to
the combination of low barometric pressure and strong storms pushing sea water
against the coast. Storm surge is relatively small along the southern California
coast when compared with tidal fluctuations. Excluding the effects of waves, storm
surges in southern California rarely exceed 3 feet in amplitude, with average heights
below 1 foot for two to six days (USCOE, 1991). Extreme storm surges are
presented as a function of return period at selected California tide stations (NOAA,
1980), with those for La Jolla shown below:
Return Period
Storm Surge
Years
Feet
5
2.0
10
2.1
25
2.2
50
2.3
100
2.4
When storm surge occurs at the same time as a tidal maximum, the combination results in
statistical extreme water elevations, with those for La Jolla as follows (NOAA, 1980):
Return Period
Extreme Water Elevation
Years
Feet (MLLW Datum)
5
7.3
10
7.4
25
7.5
50
7.6
100
7.7



 


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