Extreme North Sea Storm Surges and Their Consequences



Short Description

Storm tides and storm surges are common phenomena at the German North Sea coast. Over the centuries coastal protection matured and people became increasingly protected from the flooding that might be associated with the storm tides. Although there have been a number of recent events where extremely high water levels have been observed along the German North Sea coast line, no substantial damages were reported as s a consequence of the improved protection.

There are several conditions that must come together to make up a storm tide. The project EXTREMENESS – Extreme North Sea Storm Surges and Their Consequences funded by the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research under the framework programme Research for Sustainable Development (FONA 3) will investigate the interplay of the contributing factors and conditions. The objective is to examine whether there might be exceptional conditions, where the interplay of the different factors making up a storm tide can lead to exceptional high or long lasting water levels that have not been observed so far and which may be associated with corresponding consequences. The insights and lessons learned from this exercise will provide a contribution to the ongoing discussion on the future of coastal protection.



EXTREMENESS:   10/2016 - 09/2019

Funding (total):

EXTREMENESS:   985.750,- €


Coordinator: Institute of Coastal Research at the Helmholtz-Zentrum Geesthacht

Project Partner:

  • Helmholtz-Zentrum Geesthacht, Institute of Coastal Research
  • German Weather Service
  • Federal Waterways Engineering and Research Institute
  • Research Institute for Water and Environment at the University of Siegen
  • Institute of Geography at the University of Hamburg





Project coordinator

Dr. Ralf Weisse
Helmholtz-Zentrum Geesthacht
Max-Planck-Str. 1, 21502 Geesthacht