Ecosystem Effects of Sea Level Change

What is the Ecosystem Effects of Sea Level Change app?

icon_activeThe Ecosystem Effects of Sea Level Change app enables users to visualize the effects of various sea level change scenarios on target ecosystems.

Who should use it?

Planners and resource/land managers concerned about the impacts of future development and rising sea levels on restoration/conservation of anchialine pools over time.

How does it work?

The app allows users to explore the potential magnitude of coastal flooding for different flood frequencies under a range of flood scenarios. Under the “Chose Type of Flooding” slider, select from a choice of flood frequencies – “Frequent”, “Semi-Frequent”, “Infrequent”, and “Rarely”. Respectively, these correspond to the associated flood elevation/area on the map occurring roughly once every day or two, once or twice every month, once or twice year, and once every 100 plus years.

Under the “Chose Scenario Year” slider, select from a choice of flood scenarios for different time periods – “Recent”, 2025, 2035, 2050, and 2080. Excluding the Recent scenario, each of the scenarios reflect an increase in regional sea level rise linked to projected global increases in mean sea level around the respective time period. They may also include a small contribution attributable to climate variability, changes in sea level associated with changing patterns in atmospheric and oceanic circulation occurring on time scales of years to decades.

It is important to note that the flood magnitudes are associated with what is known as the “Still Water Level” (SWL). The SWL includes various contributions to high water levels (e.g. tides and storm surge, patterns of atmospheric and oceanic circulation, regional and global changes in absolute sea level and vertical land motion). However, it does not include wave runup, and is therefore an underestimate of the Total Water Level (TWL) observed at the shoreline. Further, these flood magnitudes and their associated frequencies and time periods, are derived from a more extensive analysis of the potential for coastal flooding along the Kona coast. This included an analysis of flood frequencies derived from the normal distribution as well as a flood extremes derived from the Generalized Extreme Value (GEV)
distribution of observed water levels in tide gauges. The information shown here is the result of a blending and simplification of these analyses. It is intended to illustrate how information of this nature can be used to support resource management, community planning, and other purposes. Prior to attempting to use this information for these purposes in any formal way, examination of the full results of the analysis along with a review of the methods should be conducted.