DK1 Crisis situations caused by the climate – use of the Elevation Model (Denmark)

Selected areas that will be struck by the storm surge in the
course of the day.


Denmark’s Elevation Model has been used a couple of times in connection with crisis situations caused by the climate.

In order to plan the right emergency response a number of data sources and weather forecasts were prepared in advance by the Danish Meteorological Institute (DMI) and the Danish Coastal Authority (DCA). When facing a real crisis it was evident that they needed even higher level of detail in the data, to be able to single out which areas might be flooded by rising seawater.

Using the Elevation Model has proven to be very accurate as it gives the necessary level of detail, in the case of flooding the exact area of the quay edge that was needed to take the right action. In preparation for such situations, the Elevation Model had been converted into the Rubber Boot Index. This index may not be an international standard, but it provides an excellent illustration of where in a flooded area it is possible to wade through in rubber boots, where you can go through in a vehicle, and where you need to sail.

Denmark’s Elevation Model and flooding calculations can be downloaded as free data from the Danish Geodata Agency’s website, and flooding calculations are accessible at The emergency authorities are urged to make use of the data and to prepare their own geodata for when there is an emergency situation.


By preparing various data sources and make an easy to understand rubber boot index it is possible to respond to flooding in a much more effective way. This in turn might save lives and reduce the economic loss.

Linked to

UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)

  • Goal 11 “Make cities and human settlements inclusive, safe, resilient and sustainable”
  • Goal 13 “Take urgent action to combat climate change and its impacts”