Tõnisson, H., Suursaar, Ü., Rivis, R., Kont, A. and Orviku, K., 2013. Observation and analysis of coastal changes in the West Estonian Archipelago caused by storm Ulli (Emil) in January 2012.
The study analyzes the meteorological parameters, hydrodynamic conditions and coastal changes at three practically tideless locations on Saaremaa Island caused by storm Ulli (sustained wind speed 20 m/s, gusts 28 m/s) which struck the Estonian coast on 4 January 2012. It was the last and the most influential storm of a series of storms which began on November 2011. Wind and sea-level data from nearby meteorological and hydrological stations were used to provide the forcing data for hydrodynamic study. Wave hindcast was performed using a semi-empirical SMB-type wave model. Shorelines, scarp positions and beach profiles were measured in August 2011, and again during each of storm Berit (in November) and storm Ulli (in January). Local storm surge height reached 1 m, significant wave height (Hs) was up to 2.8 m, the combined sea level and Hs reached 3.65 m, and local wave run-up reached 3.2 m during Ulli. At Cape Kiipsaare, recession of the sandy scarp reached 9 m (at the rate of nearly 1m per hour). The loss of sand was approximately 4–5 m3 per 1 m of shoreline. Erosion occurred on the shores exposed to the prevailing wind direction while accumulation was recorded on the leeward side of the spit. Erosion mostly occurred at the elevations between 1–3 m. Although the winter 2011/12 included a series of influential storms, nearly two-thirds of coastal erosion during the winter 2011/2012 was caused by storm Ulli, which featured the highest sea levels.