A global network for Coastal Resilience to support adaptation planning and post-storm redevelopment decisions

Planning

The global network for Coastal Resilience is intended to support coastal development and post-storm redevelopment decisions.  Below is a list of relevant information needed to process and analyze in building a Coastal Resilience information system.
 
Flood and Hazard Scenarios
Multiple coastal inundation scenarios from sea level rise (SLR), storm surge and frequent flooding are needed to compare scenarios
 
Sea Level Rise
Sea level rise mapping is done two ways: using Global Circulation Models (GCM) for interpreting Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) emission scenarios, or using the best available scientific information to map appropriate sea level rise intervals where information about greenhouse gas emissions is lacking.  Using GCMs and emission scenarios sea level rise can be mapped to specific decadal periods, whereas interval mapping is usually done without links to time.  Sea level rise projections are then used in conjunction with elevation data to generate spatially-explicit inundation scenarios. A bathtub fill approach to model inundation from SLR is generally used, although hydrologically enforced inundation modelling is most accurate.
 
Storm Surge
For high recurrence flooding (e.g. 1 in 5 year floods) information from tide gauges can be used to determine local water levels.  For low recurrence storms (e.g. hurricanes) a model like the Sea and Lake Overland Storms and Hurricane (SLOSH) determines regional storm surge events.  Although these can be downscaled to local conditions, SLOSH gives only an approximate (within 20% of the observed storm surges) picture of an event.   Both averaged tide gauge and SLOSH model output can also be directly mapped onto elevation data to generate spatial scenarios. 
With both SLR and storm surge data, these can then be combined to produce projected storms on future sea level conditions. The elevation data used for mapping these SLR and storm surge scenarios usually comes from LiDAR-based (Light Detection and Ranging remote sensing) digital elevation models (DEM).
 
Mapping confidence
To spatially illustrate the uncertainty associated with mapping inundation scenarios, three inundation zones per scenario can be mapped using the vertical root mean square error (RMSE) of the elevation data in an effort to give users a transparent picture of the variability of data accuracy associated with the elevation.
 
Socioeconomic Mapping
Through mapping and analysis determine the social and economic conditions and their relative vulnerability to coastal hazards
 
Social Vulnerability
Socioeconomic information can be analyzed in order to better evaluate the consequences of SLR and storm surge hazards on human populations and infrastructure.  Domestically, data from the US Census Bureau is often used to depict these distributions and to create various census block group level indices based on demographic attributes such as age, income, and access to critical facilities such as hospitals.
 
Economic Vulnerability
Census block-level demographic data can be combined with economic data to forecast the potential economic damage of future SLR and floods based on the present-day economic landscape.  Economic exposure from flooding of infrastructure, including housing, transportation, and commercial structures, was used to calculate economic loss or the full replacement value of commercial and residential structures.   Loss calculations were the result of geographic analysis using the Hazards US Multi-Hazards (HAZUS-MH) tool developed by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA).
 
Ecological Mapping
Provide information on the best available coastal habitat data, which includes researching and developing spatial analyses that help determine the ecological conditions and their relative vulnerability to coastal hazards as well as their natural ability to protect human communities.
 
Habitat Migration
Intertidal habitats, including wetlands, require adjacent non-developed space to migrate over time in order to keep pace with rising sea levels.  Using a variety of models (i.e. SLAMM) and tools, potential marsh, mangrove, and beach advancement zones can be mapped with sea level rise based on variables of accretion, erosion, land use/cover, elevation, and projected sea level. 
 
Ecosystem services
Intertidal habitats, including wetlands, require adjacent non-developed space to migrate over time in order to keep pace with rising sea levels.  Using a variety of models (i.e. SLAMM) and tools, potential marsh, mangrove, and beach advancement zones can be mapped with sea level rise based on variables of accretion, erosion, land use/cover, elevation, and projected sea level.