Clusters of community exposure to coastal flooding hazards based on storm and sea level rise scenarios—implications for adaptation networks in the San Francisco Bay region

Regional Environmental Change
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Abstract

Sea level is projected to rise over the coming decades, further increasing the extent of flooding hazards in coastal communities. Efforts to address potential impacts from climate-driven coastal hazards have called for collaboration among communities to strengthen the application of best practices. However, communities currently lack practical tools for identifying potential partner communities based on similar hazard exposure characteristics. This study uses statistical cluster analysis to identify similarities in community exposure to flooding hazards for a suite of sea level rise and storm scenarios. We demonstrate this approach using 63 jurisdictions in the San Francisco Bay region of California (USA) and compare 21 distinct exposure variables related to residents, employees, and structures for six hazard scenario combinations of sea level rise and storms. Results indicate that cluster analysis can provide an effective mechanism for identifying community groupings. Cluster compositions changed based on the selected societal variables and sea level rise scenarios, suggesting that a community could participate in multiple networks to target specific issues or policy interventions. The proposed clustering approach can serve as a data-driven foundation to help communities identify other communities with similar adaptation challenges and to enhance regional efforts that aim to facilitate adaptation planning and investment prioritization.

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Additional publication details

Publication type Article
Publication Subtype Journal Article
Title Clusters of community exposure to coastal flooding hazards based on storm and sea level rise scenarios—implications for adaptation networks in the San Francisco Bay region
Series title Regional Environmental Change
DOI 10.1007/s10113-017-1267-5
Volume 18
Issue 5
Year Published 2018
Language English
Publisher Springer
Contributing office(s) Western Geographic Science Center
Description 13 p.
First page 1343
Last page 1355
Country United States
State California
Other Geospatial San Francisco Bay