Preprint Article Version 1 This version not peer reviewed

Applying principles of uncertainty within coastal hazard assessments to better support coastal adaptation

Version 1 : Received: 22 June 2017 / Approved: 22 June 2017 / Online: 22 June 2017 (11:41:46 CEST)

A peer-reviewed article of this Preprint also exists.

Stephens, S.A.; Bell, R.G.; Lawrence, J. Applying Principles of Uncertainty within Coastal Hazard Assessments to Better Support Coastal Adaptation. J. Mar. Sci. Eng. 2017, 5, 40. Stephens, S.A.; Bell, R.G.; Lawrence, J. Applying Principles of Uncertainty within Coastal Hazard Assessments to Better Support Coastal Adaptation. J. Mar. Sci. Eng. 2017, 5, 40.

Journal reference: J. Mar. Sci. Eng. 2017, 5, 40
DOI: 10.3390/jmse5030040

Abstract

Coastal inundation is an increasing problem. Sea-level rise will greatly increase the frequency and depth of inundation, forcing vulnerable communities to adapt. Communities will need to decide when and how to adapt. The process of decision-making along adaptive pathways is now being used internationally to plan for adaptation over time by anticipating decision points in the future however it unfolds. This process requires risk and uncertainty considerations to be transparent in the scenarios used in such planning. We outline a framework for uncertainty identification and management within coastal hazard assessments which recognizes different types of decision and identifies the types of uncertainty that must be accounted for, such as statistical, scenario and deep uncertainty types. We show how coastal-inundation hazard can be mapped and presented in a way that clearly separates sources of uncertainty, so that they are transparent within a dynamic adaptive pathways planning process. Traditional coastal inundation maps show inundated area only. We present maps of inundation depth and frequency which clearly show the degree of exposure, where that exposure occurs, and how much sea-level rise can be tolerated. The new uncertainty framework and mapping techniques can better identify decision points and their expected time range, which provides more useful input to the adaptation process than traditional coastal inundation assessments.

Subject Areas

sea-level rise; coastal hazard assessment; uncertainty; coastal adaptation

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