Elevation uncertainty in coastal inundation hazard assessments

By:
Edited by: Sorin Cheval

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Abstract

Coastal inundation has been identified as an important natural hazard that affects densely populated and built-up areas (Subcommittee on Disaster Reduction, 2008). Inundation, or coastal flooding, can result from various physical processes, including storm surges, tsunamis, intense precipitation events, and extreme high tides. Such events cause quickly rising water levels. When rapidly rising water levels overwhelm flood defenses, especially in heavily populated areas, the potential of the hazard is realized and a natural disaster results. Two noteworthy recent examples of such natural disasters resulting from coastal inundation are the Hurricane Katrina storm surge in 2005 along the Gulf of Mexico coast in the United States, and the tsunami in northern Japan in 2011. Longer term, slowly varying processes such as land subsidence (Committee on Floodplain Mapping Technologies, 2007) and sea-level rise also can result in coastal inundation, although such conditions do not have the rapid water level rise associated with other flooding events. Geospatial data are a critical resource for conducting assessments of the potential impacts of coastal inundation, and geospatial representations of the topography in the form of elevation measurements are a primary source of information for identifying the natural and human components of the landscape that are at risk. Recently, the quantity and quality of elevation data available for the coastal zone have increased markedly, and this availability facilitates more detailed and comprehensive hazard impact assessments.

Additional publication details

Publication type Book chapter
Publication Subtype Book Chapter
Title Elevation uncertainty in coastal inundation hazard assessments
DOI 10.5772/31972
Year Published 2012
Language English
Publisher InTech
Publisher location Rijeka, Croatia
Contributing office(s) Earth Resources Observation and Science (EROS) Center
Description 20 p.
Larger Work Type Book
Larger Work Title Natural Disasters
First page 121
Last page 140
Online Only (Y/N) N
Additional Online Files (Y/N) N