Sea Level Rise – Green Infrastructure for Coastal Resilience

This is a two-part project: Advancing High-Resolution Coastal Forecasting and Advancing Living Shorelines Approaches for Sea Level Rise.

Advancing High-Resolution Coastal Forecasting. 

The Connecticut Institute for Resilience & Climate Adaptation (CIRCA) is a multi‐disciplinary, center of excellence that brings together experts in the natural sciences, engineering, economics, political science, finance, and law to provide practical solutions to global environmental issues arising as a result of a changing climate. The UConn CIRCA faculty are partnering with researchers from across New England to advance the development and implementation of a comprehensive, regional, coastal and riverine inundation observation and modeling system. This project will result in the creation of a real-time inundation forecast system and 100-year return interval (1% annual chance) online maps that will be housed with the Northeast Regional Association of Coastal and Ocean Observing Systems (NERACOOS).

Advancing Living Shorelines Approaches.

UConn CIRCA, working in conjunction with five New England states and several regional organizations, will collaboratively analyze living shorelines applications in Connecticut and the Northeast region. New England has a varied coastline and dually varied utilization rates for living shorelines projects. Under this cooperative effort, UConn CIRCA will assist the region as it develops a ‘state-of-the-science’ analysis of living shorelines and coastal green infrastructure, identify barriers and potential solutions to increase the deployment of living shorelines, and develop and disseminate educational materials and workshops for the public regarding living shorelines and coastal green infrastructure in order to fight sea level rise.

 

“Natural ecosystems provide multiple benefits to people, including food and water production, improved air and water quality, and recreation and spiritual inspiration”

 

CIRCA and NOAA partnered on May 23, 2017 to present a Green Infrastructure for Coastal Resilience Training. Training staff from NOAA and CIRCA introduced participants to fundamental green infrastructure concepts and practices that can play a critical role in making coastal communities more resilient to natural hazards. The agenda also featured green infrastructure projects from CIRCA grantees in Stratford and MetroCOG as well as presentations from New Haven, Eastern CT Conservation District, and the University of Connecticut Center for Land Use Education and Research.

sea level rise
The Practice of Green Infrastructure. Image by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA)

 

You can find the full PDF presentation about the project sea level rise here.

 

Click on the map to see how much flooding could happen in your coastal area:

Susceptibility map of mass movements in the southern slope of Avila

The mass movements that originate on the southwestern flank of the Avila, as observed in the analysis of the risk carried out in this work, cause numerous economic losses since many neighborhoods in the area are very susceptible to this threat, in view of the urban expansion of the city that has caused many settlements

Constraints, triggers and erosive factors affecting mass movements in the mountainous south area of Ávila in Venezuela, are spatially analyzed through ArcGIS software 10.0 a synthetic methodology that performs the analysis of these factors in each movement type (rock falls, landslides, road slope and flows) and then synthesize on a single map areas with increased susceptibility.

The main cause of mass movements in this area relates to geological conditions which are reactivated by active seismicity, heavy rainfall, and artificial changes to the ground. Only in Caracas city has registered more than 500 landslides with important effects in the last 60 years.

While the study of the risk of mass movements is elaborate, (a dispersed event in space-time and with low intensity) is one of the most costly threats at a socio-economic level.

Most of the movements studied are mainly controlled by the slope and lithology, observing that most of the most frequent instabilities occur in the metamorphic rock of the San Julián and Esquistos las Brisas Complex type and in alluvial quaternary.

Slope, altitude and orientation vary depending on the type of movement. Observed for rock falls and slopes that go from 20º to 35º and altitudes from 740 m.a.s.l. to 1110 m.a.s.l. Northeast facing mostly for landslides and southeast to the southwest of rock falls.

On the other hand, for edge faults and debris flows it is very variable, with a much lower slope and altitude for flows (0 to 10º) and a higher one for landslides, with slopes of up to 40º of dip being observed. They coincide in the maximum orientation that goes from southeast to southwest and in the fact that they are movements controlled by the adjacent hydrographic networks.

It is recommended that Venezuelan authorities take a forecast of the most frequent climatic threats and keep a forecast and control of dry vs. wet periods as these are the most frequent triggers that cause mass movements. This can be done by expanding the meteorological stations since there is currently the Maiquetía airport station, whose climatic variation contrasts with that of the southern flank of Avila, and the Caracas Valley.

As far as vegetation control is concerned, a good spatial analysis is recommended to determine the current vegetation type and thus to take vegetation as a conditioning factor. It is known that from the end of 2015 to March 2016 the ENSO has hit the Ávila mountain range causing major droughts and fires, which are triggering factors for mass movements but due to a lack of spatial information could not be included in the present work.

In addition, if urban expansion were to be controlled, the most vulnerable communities could be organized and warned of the danger that exists in this study. The most susceptible neighbourhoods are Plan de Manzano, Macayapa, Blandín, Araguaney and La Cortada.

Periodic awareness campaigns and visits to such communities can maintain areas potentially susceptible to threats from movements of evicted or prevented masses depending on the level of probability.

Delimitation of the Wildland-Urban Interface and risk of fire

This work applies methods based on Geographic Information Technologies (TIG) For the cartographic definition of these spaces at different scales. The goal is to Test official and public standardized Geographic information resources (Web services, remote sensing and LIDAR images of data infrastructures)

Wildland‐Urban Interface (W‐UI) identifies areas with new territorial dynamics, forest areas bordering residential and mixed uses. The arrival of new residents from urban environment to these places, enhances the risk arising from the inevitable cultural change.

Wildfires show the problem, its control is complicated in these areas, reaching serious consequences of economic value and loss of life. The establishment of the zones (W‐UIZ) is vital in the work prevention and risk management.

Based on Geographic Information Technologies methods will be used for cartographic definition of these areas, at different scales. Resources Geographic Information, officers and public normalized will be tested (web services, remote sensing and LIDAR from Spatial Data Infrastructure (SDI), using GIS‐based free and open‐source software, in order to evaluate the advantages of its use.