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The University of Southampton
Ocean and Earth Science, National Oceanography Centre Southampton

Research project: Surge Watch: An interactive and multi-purpose database of coastal flooding events for the UK

Currently Active: 

The UK has a long history of coastal flooding, including the 1607 flood which caused the greatest loss of life from any sudden onset natural catastrophe in the UK during the last 500 years, and the storm of 1953 in which 307 people were killed and 24,000 people fled their homes.

Today, more than 2.5 million properties and £150 billion of assets are potentially exposed to coastal flooding in the UK. Despite these concerns, information on the extent of coastal floods and associated damages is not systematically documented and no monitoring system is currently in place to record whether extreme sea level events progress to coastal flood events, and the associated inundation extent and damage.

For further information and to explore the dataset, go to


  • Compilations of 'hard' and 'soft' data associated with coastal flood events including tide gauge data, newspaper articles etc

Key Objectives

  • To setup an interactive and multi-purpose database of UK coastal flood events, called 'Surge Watch'
  • To monitor events and collate data associated with them, offering long-term benefits for safety and planning, improvements to inundation modelling, a means to educate the public, and further scientific assessment of events

Key Contacts

Dr Ivan Haigh

Dr Matthew Wadey

Dr Shari Gallop

Professor Robert Nicholls

PhDs and Other Opportunities


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