Kim, D.-Y.; Park, S.-H.; Woo, S.-B.; Jeong, K.-Y., and Lee, E.-I., 2017. Sea level rise and storm surge around the southeastern coast of Korea. In: Lee, J.L.; Griffiths, T.; Lotan, A.; Suh, K.-S., and Lee, J. (eds.), The 2nd International Water Safety Symposium. Journal of Coastal Research, Special Issue No. 79, pp. 239–243. Coconut Creek (Florida), ISSN 0749-0208.
The sea level rise around the Korean peninsula has become a significant factor that can have a catastrophic impact on low-lying coastal regions. The risk of storm surges can be intensified by rising sea levels, which will create more damaging flood conditions in coastal areas. This study focused on the long-term variations of the mean sea level (MSL) and the annual maximum surge heights (AMSH), which were influenced by global warming and strengthening typhoons. The trends of MSL and AMSH were estimated using the sea level data at eight stations along the southern and eastern coast of Korea over the past 40 years (~2014). The trend was on average 2.31 mm (exclude Pohang) and 2.59 mm per year, which were significant within the 95% confidence level based on linear regression. The areal average rise of the MSL was 2.32 mm and 2.31 mm (exclude Pohang) per year in the south and east coast of Korea. The average rise of AMSH in the southern coast ( 3.71 mm/year) was higher than the eastern coast ( 1.48 mm/year) because the southern coast lies in the direct path of typhoons. Statistical analysis showed that 41% ~ 58% of the AMSH occurred during the typhoon event. The AMSH were relatively low during the last decade due to the typhoon landfall frequency and reducing intensity. Overall, the surge heights (extreme sea levels) at southeastern coast of Korea are likely to be affected by geographical or regional atmospheric adjustments in accordance with global climate change.