Onshore Storminess Factor (ONSF): A new tool for Regional Beach Hazard Rating (RBHR) and Beach Safety Management (BSM)

TitleOnshore Storminess Factor (ONSF): A new tool for Regional Beach Hazard Rating (RBHR) and Beach Safety Management (BSM)
Publication TypeConference Paper
Year of Publication2007
AuthorsPick, K, Hartmann, D
Conference NameWorld Conference on Drowning Prevention
Date Published09/2007
PublisherInternational Life Saving Federation
Conference LocationPorto, Portugal
Other Numbers02-09

Drowning hazards result from the interaction between bathers and the morphodynamic surf processes which are related to the regional synoptic setup and the regional offshore oceanographic conditions. We focus on Beach Hazard Rating (BHR) resulting from meteorological parameters of synoptic scale that control seasonal swell generation and direction. We suggest a new characterization of the Mediterranean meteo-oceanographic seasonal systems as a relationship between the regional meteorological parameters averaged over a given period of time and space and the resulting regional wave climate and direction.

Our study area is the entire Mediterranean Sea and coastlines. We suggest an Onshore Storminess Factor (ONSF) to express the amount of energy approaching a given coastal segment, and use ONSF maps of the Mediterranean Sea as a tool for drowning-hazard and -risk analysis. We recommend that for Beach Safety Management (BSM) purposes the regional ONSF, which is a macroscale approach, should be used before applying Short's morphodynamic BHR approach which operates on a microscale or local or single beach level. This newly developed detailed regional beach hazard rating of Mediterranean beaches, based on their exposure to the regional synoptic meteorological and oceanographic conditions, is first time conceptualized and presented.