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Storm Surge Risk Modeling and Coastal Engineering Adaptations in a Changing Climate

Kirk Bosma, The Woods Hole Group
Monday, June 16 @ 11:30am

ABSTRACT

Numerous coastal communities have developed, or started to develop, Coastal Climate Adaptation Plans that integrate projected sea-level rise influences into their planning process. In many coastal areas, the adverse impacts of climate change and sea-level rise may be reduced by a careful response to the increased threat of storm induced flood damage. The identification of appropriate adaptive actions (e.g. abandonment, retreat, elevation, protection, and engineering approaches) depends largely on an understanding of the present and future surge-induced flood risk. In particular, an accurate and precise assessment of the exceedance probability of storm surge water surface elevations, provided at high spatial resolution, helps decision makers identify areas of existing vulnerability requiring immediate action, as well as, areas that benefit from future vulnerability planning. Armed with this detailed information, adaptation strategies and coastal engineering alternatives can be developed that address present and future risks. Coastal protection and flood management alternatives include, but are not limited to, structural alternatives, adaptable and modular engineering concepts, flood proofing, bioengineered technology, managed retreat/relocation, elevating, flow control structures, and evacuation plans. Engineering solutions can be focused on alternatives that are adaptable with time. These concepts provide alternatives and planning approaches to mitigate, minimize, or adapt to effects of sea level rise and storm events.

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