Ivan Haigh

University of Southampton



Research Interests
The affects of climate change on tides, surges, mean sea level and extreme water levels, extreme value theory. Development and application of process-based numerical modelling. Understanding the processes that drive short and long-term estuary morphology.

Ivan Haigh is Associate Professor in coastal oceanography at the University of Southampton. Ivan's main research interests are:

  • assessing historic and determining future changes in mean and extreme sea levels at local, regional and global scales; and
  • determining how to effectively translate global projections of absolute sea level rise down to regional and local scales in practical terms that will aid coastal managers and engineers inform flood and erosion risk-based management and for future planning.

In this regard, he is interested in all aspects of sea level variations from time scales of minutes (ocean surface waves), hours (seiches, tides), days (storm surges), through to longer term changes (seasonal, inter-annual and longer-term changes in mean sea levels, lunar tidal cycles). He has experience in assessing observational datasets (i.e. tide gauge records, wave buoy data) and tide/surge and wave numerical modelling for short (forecasting, navigation) and long (coupling with climate models to assess past/present and potential future changes in storm surges, extreme sea levels and coastal flooding) term applications.

Ivan is currently the Principal Investigator/Co-Investigator of two major research projects. He leads the NERC-funded iGlass consortium project (2011-2015) which is using interglacials to assess future sea-level scenarios. Ivan leads the Southampton component of the EPSRC-funded Flood MEMORY consortium project, led by Newcastle University. The overall project aim is to investigate the effects of temporal clustering of flood events on natural built and socio-economic systems with memory, in order to identify critical vulnerabilities, better allocate resources for protection and recovery and improve flood resilience. Ivan also is actively involved in several projects with DHI, UNESCO-IHE, the Australian Department of Climate Change and the New South Wales Office of Environment and Heritage.

In regards to teaching, he is the co-director (together with Robert Nicholls) and admissions officer of the MSc Engineering in the Coastal Environment. This programe is uniquely provided jointly by academics from the Faculty of Engineering and the Environment, based at Highfield Campus and Ocean and Earth Science, based at the National Oceanography Centre. The programme is strongly linked to industry and focussed on applied issues in the coastal zone. The overall goal is to educate technically-orientated coastal practitioners for suitable employment in coastal engineering, both in consultancies and relevant areas of government.

Published or in press

  1. Ozsoy, O., Haigh, I.D., Wadey, M.P., Nicholls, R.J., Wells, N.C., 2016. High-frequency sea level oscillations and implications for coastal flooding: a case study of the Solent, UK. Continental Shelf Research, 122, 1-13.
  2. Mawdsley, R., Haigh, I.D., 2016. Spatial and Temporal Variability and Long-Term Trends in Skew Surges Globally. Frontiers in Marine Science, 3:29. doi: 10.3389/fmars.2016.00029
  3. McInnes, K.L. White, C.J., Haigh, I.D., et al, 2016. Natural hazards in Australia: sea level and coastal extremes. Climatic Change, pp.1–15.
  4. Ezer, T., Haigh, I.D., Woodworth, P.L., 2016. New analysis of non-linear sea level trends, acceleration and long-term variability on the UK and western European coasts. In press Journal of Coastal Research.
  5. Pitman, S. Gallop, S.L., Haigh, I.D., Mahmoodi, S., Masselink, G., Ranasinghe, R., 2016. Synthetic imagery for the automated detection of rip currents. In: Vila-Concejo, A.; Bruce, E.; Kennedy, D.M., and McCarroll, R.J. (eds.), Proceedings of the 14th International Coastal Symposium (Sydney, Australia). Journal of Coastal Research, Special Issue, No. 75, pp. 912-916. Coconut Creek (Florida), ISSN 0749-0208.
  6. Gallop, S.L., Bosserelle, C., Haigh, I.D., Wadey, M.P., Pattiaratchi, C.B, Eliot, I., 2015. The impact of temperate reefs on 34 years of shoreline and vegetation line stability at Yanchep, southwestern Australia and implications for coastal setback. Marine Geology, 369, 224-232.
  7. Wadey, M.P., Haigh, I.D., 2015. Coastal flooding on the 5-6 December 2013 around the UK. In press Frontiers in Marine Science.
  8. Amiruddin, A.M., Haigh, I.D., Tsimplis, M.N, Calafat, F.M., Dangendorf, S., 2015. The seasonal cycle and variability of sea level in the South China Sea. In press Journal of Geophysical Research Oceans.
  9. McCarthy G.D., Haigh, I.D., Hirschi, J.J.-M., Smeed, D.A., 2015. Sea level shows ocean control of decadal Atlantic climate variability. Nature, 521, 508–510.
  10. Haigh, I.D., Wadey, M.P., Gallo, S.L, Loehr, H., Nicholls, R.J., Horsburgh, K., Brown, J.M, and Bradshaw, E., 2015. A user-friendly database of coastal flooding in the United Kingdom 1915-2014. Scientific Data 2, Article number: 150021.
  11. Wadey, M.P, Brown, J., Haigh, I.D., 2015, Assessment and comparison of extreme sea levels and waves during the 2013/14 storm season in two UK coastal regions. Ocean Sci. Discuss.,11, 1995-2028.
  12. McInnes, K.L., Church, J.A., Monselesan, D., Hunter, J.R. O’Grady, J.G., Haigh, I.D., Zhang, X., 2015. Sea-level Rise Projections for Australia: Information for Impact and Adaptation Planning. In press Australian Meteorology and Oceanography Journal.
  13. Dabii, E. P., Haigh, I.D., Lambkin, D., Heron, J., Nicholls, R.J., 2015. Beyond significant wave height: A new approach for validating numerical wave models. Coastal Engineering, 100, 11-25.
  14. Mawdsley, R.J., Haigh, I.D., Wells, N.C. 2015. Global changes in tidal high water, low water and range. Earth’s Futures, 3(2), 66-81.
  15. Arns, A., Wahl, T., Haigh, I.D., Jensen, J., 2015. Determining extreme water return levels at un-gauged sites: a case study of the Schleswig-Holsteins coastline and Islands in north-west Germany. In press Ocean Dynamics.
  16. Saher, M.H., Barlow, N.L.M., Gehrels, W.R., Long, A.A., Haigh, I.D. Blaaw, M., 2015. A 600 year multiproxy record of sea-level change in western Iceland and the influence of the North Atlantic Oscillation. Quaternary Science Reviews, 108, 23–36.
  17. Dangendorf, S., Calafat, F. M., Arns, A., Wahl, T., Haigh, I.D., Jense, J., 2014. Mean sea level variability in the North Sea: processes and implications. In press Journal of Geophysical Research Oceans.
  18. Gallop, S.L., Young, I.R., Ranasinghe, R., Durrant, T.H., Haigh, I.D., 2014. The large-scale influence of the Great Barrier Reef matrix on wave attenuation. In press Coral Reefs.
  19. Brown, S., Nicholls, R.J., Hanson, S., Brundrit, G., Dearing, J., Dickson, M., Gallop, S., Gao, S., Haigh, I.D., et al., 2014. Shifting perspectives on coastal impacts and adaptation. Nature Climate Change, 4, 752–755.
  20. Wadey, M.P., Haigh, I.D., Brown, J.M., 2014. A century of sea level data and the UK’s 2013/14 storm surges: an assessment of extremes and clustering using the Newlyn tide gauge record. Ocean Sci. Discuss.,11, 1995-2028.
  21. Quinn, N. Lewis, M., Wadey, M.P., Haigh, I.D., 2014. Assessing the variability in extreme high water levels for coastal flood risk assessment. In press Journal of Geophysical Research-Oceans.
  22. White, N., Haigh, I.D., Church J.A., et al., 2014. Australian Sea Levels – Trends, Regional Variability and Influencing Factors. Earth-Science Reviews, 136, 155–174. OPEN ACCESS
  23. Haigh, I.D., Wahl, T., Rohling, E.J. Price, R.M., Pattiaratchi, C., 2014. Timescales for detecting a significant acceleration in sea-level rise. Nature Communications, 5, 3635. OPEN ACCESS.


Contact information

E-mail: ihaigh@soton.ac.uk

Phone: +44 (0)2380 595393

Postal Address
University of Southampton School of Civil Engineering and the Environment Highfield Southampton United Kingdom