Between Adaptation and Mitigation: The Nineteenth-century North Sea Storm Surges and the Entangled Socio-Natural Transformation of the Limfjord Region, Denmark

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Abstract

This article presents an assessment of nineteenth century socio-natural transformations in the Limfjord region of northwest Denmark in light of the dramatic impact of several storm surges. The 1825storm surge breached the narrow isthmus previously separating the North Sea from the brackish Limfjord, while later storm surges affected both the shore andthe fjord. The consequences of particular historical events highlight the value of combining the impact of natural hazards at the North Sea shoreline, with socio-economic developments in the hinterland as well as what unfolded beneath the surface. Inspired by contemporary disaster history the first section discusses the immediate and intermediate floodresponses. The second section focuses on the development of infrastructure, trade and commerce in the face of a changing natural environment. Enthused by marine environmental history, the third section revolves around the changing connectivity between humans and life in the sea providing anassessment of local fisheries and the changing marine ecosystem in the Limfjord. The multitude of socio-natural transformation processes shows how sudden events such as storm surges can reverberate for several decades in constant interaction with underlying structural socio-natural developments, moving at a pace unrecognized in their own era.
OriginalsprogEngelsk
TidsskriftJournal for the History of Environment and Society
Vol/bind6
Udgave nummer1
Sider (fra-til)129-158
Antal sider30
ISSN2506-6730
DOI
StatusUdgivet - 17 mar. 2022

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