EGU General Assembly 2022
© Author(s) 2022. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

A new European coastal storm impact database of resources: the ECFAS effort

Paola Emilia Souto Ceccon1, Enrico Duo1, Tomàs Fernàndez Montblanc3, Juan Montes Pérez3, Paolo Ciavola1, and Clara Armaroli2
Paola Emilia Souto Ceccon et al.
  • 1Università degli Studi di Ferrara, Physics and Earth Science, Italy
  • 2Istituto Universitario di Studi Superiori di Pavia (IUSS), Pavia, 27100, Italy
  • 3Earth Sciences Department, Universidad de Cádiz, Puerto Real, 11510, Spain

Coastal flood events generate important damages and economic losses along European coastlines. Flood risk of low-lying areas, where socio-economic activities are in continuous development and the population density is high, will increase due to the anticipated sea—level rise and the climate change-driven alterations in storminess. Therefore, the study and monitoring of coastal flood hazards and impacts are key for coastal risk managers.

At present, the existing coastal-flood databases collect events, mostly at a national level only (e.g., the Spanish Catálogo Nacional de Inundaciones Històricas) or even at Regional Level (e.g. in Italy in Emilia-Romagna the in-storm catalogue), without following a common methodology. Therefore, these databases might lack homogeneity in terms of scope and completeness. In addition, when there is no familiarity with countries’ institutions and agencies providing the resources, it is difficult to collect information by third parties. The news and social media represent possible sources of information, but some quality control should be performed before taking the data into account.

At the European level, there are a few coastal-flooding databases (e.g., MICORE, RISC-KIT, HANZE) but they share common limitations: e.g. they are not regularly updated or they are not publicly available. Considering these weaknesses, as part of the ECFAS Project (EU H2020 GA 101004211,, a new European database has been developed. Through a robust structure and methodology, rather than collecting already processed information, it aims to collect relevant resources of information on past coastal flood events and related impacts, following a standardized classification and providing brief description of the contents of each resource. In this way, the selection of the proper resources and the elaboration of the information therein contained is handed over to the user of the dataset, that will process/filter the information depending on its specific needs.

The ECFAS database of resources provides source information about coastal events that have generated considerable damages and flooding along the European coastlines in the period between 2010 and 2020. These extreme coastal events are linked with specific areas of interest (sites) thereby generating a test case (i.e., a site impacted by an extreme event), which improves the structure of the database since the same storm can hit different areas and the same area can be affected by different storms. The resources of information collected in the database were classified as news, scientific articles, technical reports, institutional websites, or others. For each resource, after a brief analysis, synthetic information were compiled on associated impacts, flood characteristics, hydrodynamics parameters and weather components specifications during the event. The database will be publicly available at the ECFAS webpage and will be distributed as an Excel Workbook. It currently contains 207 resources of information on 26 test cases (defined by 11 coastal events and 27 sites). In the future, new events, test-sites and test-cases can be incorporated as a new event occurs, making the ECFAS database a “living tool”.

How to cite: Souto Ceccon, P. E., Duo, E., Fernàndez Montblanc, T., Montes Pérez, J., Ciavola, P., and Armaroli, C.: A new European coastal storm impact database of resources: the ECFAS effort, EGU General Assembly 2022, Vienna, Austria, 23–27 May 2022, EGU22-9848,, 2022.