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Open AccessArticle

Likely and High-End Impacts of Regional Sea-Level Rise on the Shoreline Change of European Sandy Coasts Under a High Greenhouse Gas Emissions Scenario

Bureau de Recherches Géologiques et Minières “BRGM”, French Geological Survey, 3 Avenue, Claude Guillemin, CEDEX, 45060 Orléans, France
Environmental Hydraulics Institute “IHCantabria”, Universidad de Cantabria, Parque Científico y Tecnológico de Cantabria, Calle Isabel Torres 15, 39011 Santander, Cantabria, Spain
Laboratoire d’Etudes en Géophysique et Océanographie Spatiales “LEGOS“, Université de Toulouse, CNES, CNRS, UPS, IRD, 14 Avenue Edouard Belin, 31400 Toulouse, France
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Water 2019, 11(12), 2607;
Received: 30 September 2019 / Revised: 2 December 2019 / Accepted: 5 December 2019 / Published: 10 December 2019
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Past, Present and Future Trends in Sea Level Change)
Sea-level rise (SLR) is a major concern for coastal hazards such as flooding and erosion in the decades to come. Lately, the value of high-end sea-level scenarios (HESs) to inform stakeholders with low-uncertainty tolerance has been increasingly recognized. Here, we provide high-end projections of SLR-induced sandy shoreline retreats for Europe by the end of the 21st century based on the conservative Bruun rule. Our HESs rely on the upper bound of the RCP8.5 scenario “likely-range” and on high-end estimates of the different components of sea-level projections provided in recent literature. For both HESs, SLR is projected to be higher than 1 m by 2100 for most European coasts. For the strongest HES, the maximum coastal sea-level change of 1.9 m is projected in the North Sea and Mediterranean areas. This translates into a median pan-European coastline retreat of 140 m for the moderate HES and into more than 200 m for the strongest HES. The magnitude and regional distribution of SLR-induced shoreline change projections, however, utterly depend on the local nearshore slope characteristics and the regional distribution of sea-level changes. For some countries, especially in Northern Europe, the impacts of high-end sea-level scenarios are disproportionally high compared to those of likely scenarios. View Full-Text
Keywords: sea-level rise; high-end; shoreline retreat; projections; Europe sea-level rise; high-end; shoreline retreat; projections; Europe
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Thiéblemont, R.; Le Cozannet, G.; Toimil, A.; Meyssignac, B.; Losada, I.J. Likely and High-End Impacts of Regional Sea-Level Rise on the Shoreline Change of European Sandy Coasts Under a High Greenhouse Gas Emissions Scenario. Water 2019, 11, 2607.

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