Onshore storminess factor: A new tool for regional beach hazard rating and beach safety management

D. Hartmann, K. Pick, Y. Segal

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


Drowning hazards result from the interaction between bathers and the morphodynamic surf processes related to the regional synoptic setup and regional offshore oceanographic conditions. We focus on the beach hazard rating (BHR) derived from meteorological parameters of synoptic scale that control seasonal swell generation and direction. We suggest a new characterization of the seasonal Mediterranean meteo-oceanographic 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 its coastlines. We suggest the onshore storminess factor (ONSF) as a proxy 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 drowning risk analyses. For beach safety management (BSM), we recommend that the regional ONSF-a macro scale approach-be used before applying a morphodynamic BHR approach, which operates on a micro scale at the local or single beach level. ONSF maps show that the Eastern Libyan, Egyptian, Gaza Strip, Israeli, and Lebanon coasts, all located in the southeastern Mediterranean Sea, are tagged with higher ONSF values. The rest of the coast of Libya and southern Tunis show intermittent ONSF values. The lower ONSF values typically occur along most of the northern and western Mediterranean shores; however most of these shores have very low ONSF values.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)807-811
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of Coastal Research
Issue numberSPEC. ISSUE 56
StatePublished - 1 Dec 2009


  • Drowning risk analysis
  • Mediterranean
  • Meteo-oceanic system
  • Regional winds
  • Sea-coast
  • Swell-coast
  • Synoptic

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ecology
  • Water Science and Technology
  • Earth-Surface Processes


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