Coastal Seminar 2018/19 – Surgewatch

Speaker: Dr Ivan Haigh, Addina Inayatillah, Lucy Fillbrook

Title: SurgeWatch – 2,000 years of coastal flooding in the UK

When: Tuesday, 30 October 2018, 16:00–17:00

Where: NOCS (B68) 454/06


Coastal floods are a major global hazard leading to long-lasting and wide-ranging social, economic and environmental consequences. With sea-level rise accelerating, and possible changes in storminess, high sea levels will occur more frequently in the future. The UK has a long history of severe coastal flooding, and at present 2.5 million properties and £150 billion of assets are potentially exposed to coastal flooding. However, there is no formal, national framework in the UK to record flood severity and consequences and thus benefit an understanding of coastal flooding mechanisms and consequences. To address this issue, we have compiled an innovative new database called ‘SurgeWatch’ ( to systematic document and improve understanding of coastal flooding. In this presentation we will describe the key lessons we have learnt from undertaking a detailed and novel analysis of the drivers and impacts of the 330 flood events compiled over the last 2,000 years.


Ivan Haigh is an Associate Professor in Ocean and Earth Science, University of Southampton, based at the prestigious National Oceanography Centre, Southampton. He is passionate about all things relating to sea level. Him and his team investigate variations in sea level from time-scales of seconds (waves), to days (tides and storm surges), through to long-term century scale rises in mean sea level, and its impact on the coast.

Addina Inayatillah is a former MSc student in Engineering in the Coastal Environment, University of Southampton. After graduating from her MSc, she has been working with Ivan Haigh in various research projects at the National Oceanography Centre.

Lucy Fillbrook is an Undergraduate at the University of Southampton, studying Chemistry with Mathematics. She undertook a 10 week research experience placement at the National Oceanography Centre working on SurgeWatch.